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Asthma and School Performance: The link you need to know

Asthma can impact your child’s school performance in more ways than you may realize, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here, we talk about the impact asthma has on school performance and some things you can do to make sure your child is not affected by it.

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms, reversible airflow obstruction, bronchospasm, and an underlying inflammatory response. 

Asthma is one of several chronic respiratory diseases that affect a high proportion of school-age children worldwide. It affects both sexes equally in most age groups but is more prevalent among boys than girls in older age groups. Read the article Childhood Asthma: Everything you really need to know to learn about it. 

Children with asthma have lower academic achievement than their peers without asthma, with impairment greatest among those experiencing poorer control or greater severity of asthma symptoms. 

How Does Asthma Affect Learning?

Researchers have found that there is indeed a correlation between asthma and school performance. Since asthma can be brought on by factors both within and outside of school, it’s no surprise that children with asthma face some unique challenges in their classrooms—the physical symptoms associated with an attack, for example, may distract or impair a child’s learning. 

Children who struggle with asthma tend to miss more days than other students due to illness (this includes weekends). It stands to reason that a lack of consistent attendance at school could put them at a disadvantage when compared with other students who don’t suffer from such chronic health issues. 

In addition, since most schools are not equipped to handle severe asthma attacks, children who experience attacks are often sent home. This not only means they miss out on valuable class time but also puts them at risk for a delayed response should another attack occur while they’re away from school. While it is true that many people survive their entire lives without ever experiencing an asthma attack, many others develop respiratory conditions as adults.

What Can Schools Do?

Your child’s school can help him or her stay healthy, perform better in class, and feel happier about life. 

With a few simple steps that schools can take, children with asthma (or other chronic conditions) will have a safer environment in which to learn. Here are a few things your child’s school should do for kids with asthma. 

  1. Ensure proper medication is always available. Even if your child has a relatively mild case of asthma, he or she may need access to an inhaler at all times—particularly during PE classes and recess time when exposure to allergens could be high. Ask your doctor if it’s okay for your child to keep an inhaler in his or her backpack at all times, even during lunchtime—that way they won’t be without their medication if they accidentally leave it behind somewhere. 
  2. Provide information on how to manage asthma at school. Asthma management plans vary depending on age and severity, but there are some general guidelines that most teachers can follow to ensure your child stays safe while learning. 
  3. Make sure your child feels comfortable asking questions. If something makes your child uncomfortable or sick at school, he or she shouldn’t hesitate to speak up!

Final Words of Encouragement

If your child has asthma, learning about how asthma impacts school performance can help you make informed decisions about his or her education. Asthma is a medical condition that affects millions of children around the world, so it’s important for you to understand what impact it will have on your child’s school performance. For more information on managing asthma at school, contact us for a free consultation.

Read the article – Tips on how parents can help their children cope with asthma symptoms that can help you be better prepared to manage your child’s health.