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Parents of kids with asthma, take note

Date published: 8/18/2014

Parents of kids with asthma, take note

The Free Lance-Star had some great back-to-school tips in its July 31 special section.

As your preparations for the school year are in full swing, there are a few additional steps you should take if your child has asthma. First, talk to the school nurse to find out what you need to do to make sure your child's medication is available at school.

Then, take your child to the doctor's office for an asthma check-up to make sure he's on the right medications and knows how to take them.

Your child's health care provider should also work with you to fill out an asthma action plan, which lays out your child's medications, triggers and treatments.

Also, there's another vaccine you should add to the list of immunizations your child is getting: a flu shot. Back-to-school season is also the beginning of flu season, and it can be a dangerous disease for kids with asthma.

Finally, we all know our local air quality isn't as healthy as it could be. Stafford County got an "F" for its ozone levels in the American Lung Association's 2014 State of the Air Report, and ozone can trigger asthma attacks.

You can keep up on the air quality forecast at airnow.gov. If there are high levels of soot or smog in the forecast, your child might need to be cautious about exercising outdoors.

Laura Kate Bender

Washington, D.C.

The writer is coordinator, Virginia Healthy Air Coalition, American Lung Association.