a young man doing laundry, a calendar with a doctor's appointment, an alarm clock and a map

Sending Kids With Asthma Off To College

Last updated: July 2021

Oh, these sweet moms with young kids. They are so frazzled as they have one kid on their hip and another skipping across the lawn and tell me that it's lucky my kids are all college-aged "because they don't need me anymore."

Well, like my mom used to say, "Once you're a parent, you're a parent for the rest of your life!" It doesn't matter how old your kids are, there are times when they still need their parents. Adult kids have bigger problems, more expensive problems, and life-changing problems. It's hard to know how much or how little help to give them.

Teaching life skills

As each of my kids started college, I hoped that I had taught them all the life skills they needed.

Adulting is so much fun!

I didn't want to be a helicopter parent. I wanted my kids to be able to take care of anything that came their way. Such as: roommate trouble, laundry problems, noisy neighbors, clogged sinks, problems with a coworker, pulling an all-nighter to finish a research paper, etc, etc.

Teaching asthma skills

It's hard enough sending kids off to college, but it's a different ball game when you have kids with a chronic disease. Since all 3 of my kids have allergies and asthma (and one has a food allergy), we are always on high alert. Last night, my daughter said, "People who don't have allergies and asthma have no idea how hard it is. I always have to check the pollen count and be on the lookout for other asthma triggers. It's SO annoying!"

I told her, "I hear ya honey, I hear ya!" My kids inherited their allergies and asthma from my husband and I, so I know how annoying allergies and asthma are.

When they were younger, I would teach them how to recognize their asthma symptoms, make sure they were taking their controller inhaler morning and night, knew how to give themselves a breathing treatment with the nebulizer, and knew when they needed to go to the hospital. As annoyed as they were with me, I told them it was for their own good! I wasn't going to college with them, they would need to learn how to manage their allergies and asthma on their own.

Tips for college students with asthma

There were a few things we did to help our kids when they started college.

Know how to make a doctor's appointment

Yeah, sounds simple - I know. But, if you have been making doctor appointments for your kids all their lives, how are they supposed to know how to do it?

Campus health center

When we went on the campus tour, we made sure we found the campus health center. We found out that the health center has affordable medical care ($10) and mental health care, too. (For those of you with kids in college, you know it can be pretty stressful and they can have a lot of anxiety and depression.)

Health insurance card

Since our kids are still covered on our insurance, we made sure they have an insurance card in case they need to go to urgent care or the hospital.


We let our kids know which hospital network and urgent care centers are covered under our insurance. If you have ever had an emergency treatment at an out-of-network hospital, you know how expensive it can be! We also found the urgent care clinic and hospital closest to their apartment - "just in case."


For us, it's easier to use a chain pharmacy so no matter where we are, we can get a refill on our inhalers. We found a pharmacy closest to their apartment, so they can transfer their prescriptions.

As hard as it is, they are doing things on their own. And I couldn't be prouder!

Have any of you found ways to help your college-aged kids self manage their allergies and asthma? Share in the comments below!

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