Asthma & Back to School Night

It’s that time of year again, time for Back to School Night to meet my daughter’s teachers. Most of the teachers there already know us since this is our last kid in high school. Our two sons have proceeded our daughter, and they also had asthma.  I’m not sure it’s a REALLY good thing that we know the school nurse well. Kind of like when you know your mechanic REALLY well. Yeah, we’ve had that experience too.

I’m one of those parents who wants to make sure our daughter’s teachers know that she has asthma. It always surprises me that parents don’t tell the teachers about their child’s health problems (whether it’s asthma, diabetes, a seizure disorder, etc.) My daughter is at school 7 hours a day, and if she has a problem, I need someone there who knows that she has asthma and how to help her.

I have already turned in my daughter’s Asthma Action Plan (http://health.utah.gov/asthma/pdfs/schools/AsthmaSchoolForm.pdf) to the school nurse and she made copies for her teachers.  Asthma Doc and I fill out a new form each year so her teachers know what to do. For those of you who haven’t used an Asthma Action Plan, it’s in the format of a stop light with Green, Yellow, and Red Zones. Green means good and that there are not problems with their asthma. Yellow means they are starting to cough, wheeze, etc and need their rescue inhaler. Red means call 911. So now the teachers know how to help my daughter.

But – like most teenagers, my daughter is DEFINITELY NOT going to use her inhaler during class. I mean, she can’t be “different” in high school, right? She wants to just blend into the background and not be noticed. So, how do we have her signal to her teacher that she needs to leave class to use her inhaler? She comes up with a sign for each teacher. Whether it’s swinging her key chain around nonchalantly, pantomiming using her inhaler, making the peace sign, etc.

She waits for the teacher to nod her head that they understand, and off she goes with her backpack to use her inhaler.

And that is how we do high school with asthma.

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