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What Does Preschool Have to Do with Asthma?

Hmm, what DOES preschool have to do with asthma? Well, a lot!

I just read an article about a group of moms who live south of Seattle and are on a mission to teach preschools about asthma. Why preschools? Well, kids can be there for hours and hours every day. And what kind of environment are they in?

What about asthma allergen and trigger control on the preschool

You might be careful to make sure that your home is allergy and asthma friendly, but what about the preschool?

Class Pets

When my kids were little, my friend recommended a neighborhood preschool and said her kids loved it! I met with the teacher and toured the preschool. They had a pet rabbit which she proudly said the kids LOVED. I said no. With allergies and asthma, that’s the last thing my kids needed to be around! Besides watching for class pets, what else should you look for?

Cleaning supplies

Do they use strong cleaners and sprays? Bleach? Sometimes people think if a little bit of bleach works, a lot will be even better! Inhaling bleach can be harmful to your lungs. Easy does it!

Dust

How often do they wash the blankets and stuffed animals? Vacuum the carpet? Clean curtains or blinds?

Cockroaches

These sneaky little guys are hard to find, but leave behind waste, body parts and saliva. And can cause nasty allergies. Do they spray the preschool with bug spray? Or use sticky (or glue) traps?

Mold

The slow, steady drips are what mold thrives on! EPA recommends throwing away any mold damaged carpet or ceiling tiles. But hard surfaces can be scrubbed with detergent and water (no bleach!)

Strong smells

I’m not talking about the teacher’s lunch! I’m talking about scented candles, perfumes, paint, etc. Do the sniff test.

Smoking

Is the school smoke-free? What about the preschool van?

Most preschools I have worked with were willing to make changes, they just didn’t know what they needed to fix for kids with allergies and asthma.

Speaking of preschools…….I could use a snack right now!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • John Bottrell, RRT moderator
    6 months ago

    Great article, Andrea. Great idea for a post. Another trigger to consider is food allergies. My son has a severe allergy to peanuts and nuts. We educated the teachers about this and they were very receptive. They went as far to make the class a peanut and nut free class. And, just in case another parent brought a snack that contained nuts, we kept a stash of safe snacks in the classroom just in case. So, definitely a good place for education. John. Site Moderator.

  • Andrea M Jensen, CHES (R), AE-C author
    6 months ago

    Yes! Food allergies also need to be included! My son also has a tree nut allergy, and school was always “an adventure” 🙁

    In fact, I’m trying to get food allergies included in the classes for food handler permits. That will educate a lot of people in my area!

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