It’s Elementary

Brandy Blanton, Elementary Schools nurse, provides weekly news and tips for helping children at home.

Thank you to Hazel Garrett for her generous donation to our clothing closet at Fair Elementary. Your donation is greatly appreciated and will be put to good use!

Some Facts about Asthma:

What is Asthma? Asthma is a chronic disease of the airways that makes breathing difficult. With asthma, there is inflammation of the air passages that results in a temporary narrowing of the airways that carry oxygen to the lungs. This results in asthma symptoms, including coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Some people refer to asthma as “bronchial asthma.” Asthma occurs when airways become temporarily blocked or narrowed due to exposure to allergens, irritants, strenuous exercise, anxiety or other triggers.

Even though there are seemingly miraculous treatments for asthma symptoms, asthma is still a serious – even dangerous – disease that affects more than 25 million Americans and causes nearly 2 million emergency room visits every year.

What’s Causing The Inflammation? There are many irritants in the air, like bacteria, pollen and dust. People with asthma can be more sensitive to these irritants and their immune systems can overreact by releasing different cells and chemicals into the airways causing inflammation.

Over time, people with asthma can develop chronic inflammation that makes the airways even more sensitive. If the inflammation is not treated properly, each time a person with asthma is exposed to triggers, inflammation can increase, and the airways can constrict and become blocked with mucous. This can result in an increased chance of an asthma attack.

How Can I Tell if my Child Has Asthma? Not all children have the same asthma symptoms, and these symptoms can vary from episode to episode in the same child. Possible signs and symptoms of asthma in children include:

Frequent coughing spells, which may occur during play, at night, or while laughing or crying

A chronic cough ( which may be the only symptom)

Less energy during play/ Feelings of weakness or tiredness

Rapid breathing (intermittently)

Complaint of chest tightness or chest “hurting”

Whistling sound when breathing in or out – called Wheezing.

See-saw motions in the chest from labored breathing. These motions are called retractions.

Shortness of breath, loss of breath

Tightened neck and chest muscles

While these are some symptoms of asthma in children, your Child’s doctor should evaluate any illness that complicates your child’s breathing.

How is Asthma Treated in Children? Avoiding triggers, using medications, and keeping an eye on daily asthma symptoms are the ways to control asthma in children of all ages. Children with asthma should always be kept away from all sources of smoke. Proper use of medication is the basis of good asthma control.

Based on your child’s history and the severity of asthma, his or her doctor will develop an Asthma Action Plan and give you a written copy. This plan describes when and how your child should use asthma drugs, what to do when asthma gets worse (falls into the yellow or red zones), and when to seek emergency care for your child. Make sure you understand this plan and ask your child’s doctor any questions you may have.

Your child’s written Asthma Action Plan is important to the successful control of his or her asthma. Keep it handy to remind you of your child’s daily asthma management plan as well as to guide you when your child develops asthma symptoms. *** Also make sure your child’s CAREGIVER and SCHOOL has a copy of the Asthma Action Plan, so they will know how to treat the child’s symptoms if he/she should have an asthma attack away from home***.

Dates to Remember:

October 4th – “Pink Out” Day, Students and Staff can wear Pink Tops and Khaki Bottoms on this day to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

October 8th – PTO meeting at 6:00 in the Fair Elementary Library.