10 Ways to Avoid Back-to-School Asthma and Allergy Flare-ups

10 smart strategies to help your kids stay healthy.

By Leah Zerbe

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help you kids fdeal with asthma and allergies in school5. Make sure your child understands the triggers.
Discuss steps to avoid triggers while at school, like sitting far from the blackboard if chalk dust triggers asthma.

6. Investigate class pets.
If your child is allergic to animal dander, ask that class pets that could trigger a reaction, such as hamsters or rabbits, be removed.

7. Consider the gym.
After-school sports, recess, and gym class activities can trigger asthma attacks. Rather than keep your child out of Phys Ed, which is important for kids' academic performance as well as their fitness, work with coaches, recess monitors, and physical-education teachers so they recognize the major signs and symptoms of asthma, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.

8. Share food allergy information far and wide.
Share a list of the foods your child is allergic to, and safe alternatives, with teachers, lunch attendants, the school nurse, and class volunteers. Don’t forget to alert your child’s art teacher and Boy or Girl Scout leader, as well; food is often used in art projects and after-school activities.

9. Ward off the flu.
Have your child get a flu shot, especially if he or she has asthma. Because both asthma and the flu are respiratory diseases, people with asthma may have more frequent and severe asthma attacks when they have the flu, and they’re at greater risk for more severe illness and life-threatening complications.

10. Tour your child’s school.
Visit classrooms, art rooms, the gymnasium, the cafeteria, and other school areas to identify substances that may trigger asthma or allergy symptoms.

Visit AllergyAndAsthmaRelief.org to find an allergist near you, take a Relief Self-Test for you or your child, and learn more about allergies and asthma.

For even more ways to fight allergies, check out the natural remedy finder!

For nontoxic back-to-school ideas, check out Rodale.com's Nontoxic Back-to-School Shopping Guide e-book on sale now!

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