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One More Reason to Get Your Child's Asthma Under Control

Any parent of a child with asthma has enough to worry about, from frequent coughing to shortness of breath and wheezing, to sleep problems, and susceptibility to illnesses, you have your hands full doing your best to manage their symptoms.


And while getting your child's asthma under control is probably always a priority, if you needed one more reason to ensure your child is managing his or her asthma correctly, it could be their performance in school. A recent study published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found that children who had poorly managed asthma tended not to perform as well academically, especially if they lived in urban areas.


Asthma is one of the leading causes of school absence due to illness. In this study, there was a strong correspondence between those children with poorly managed asthma and declining academic performance. "We found associations between poor asthma status, poorer asthma control, lower lung function, more asthma symptoms, and decline in academic performance," said lead study author Daphne Koinis-Mitchell of Bradley/Hasbro Children's Research Center in Providence, Rhode Island in a press release.

Although you can't do much about living in an urban area and the pollution and air quality risks that comes with, it's important to stay on top of your child's asthma at home and arm them (and their teachers, tutors and aides) with the tools and information they need to stay healthy and safe away from home.   Check that you've addressed the following management plan with your child's school, recommended by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

  • A list of medications your child takes, noting which ones need to be administered during school hours, which can be taken during off hours and any emergency medicine (as well as how to administer it).
  • A specific plan of action for school staff about what to do during an asthma episode
  • Identified triggers that can make asthma worse.
  • Emergency procedures and phone numbers.

Helping your child stay healthy by reducing exposure to triggers and treating asthma with medication when needed is one of the best things you can do to ensure they're attending school regularly and don't fall behind on their academics.

Ask your child how they are feeling daily. If they complain of wheezing, say they feel tired after they just woke up, tell you that they're coughing at school or at a caregiver's house, look at their environments to see what can be controlled, and talk to their pediatrician about what's working and what isn't.  


Check in with your child's teachers to see how they're doing in school and whether they think your child could benefit from additional one-on-one help with schoolwork. It takes a village to raise a child and one with asthma needs special attention to make sure they are healthy and thriving in every aspect of their lives.

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