Health

Charity offers lessons on asthma attacks

  • Important message: Tracy Nash, left, and Liz Boden, right, of Open Airways, speak to a class of preschool children and teachers (File photograph)

An asthma prevention charity has offered lessons on how parents and teachers can handle attacks of the disease.

Open Airways said it would provide free, one-on-one consultations, with an asthma nurse throughout the new school term.

Parents and teachers will be able to join presentations on asthma control, triggers, as well as treatments and techniques to administer medication.

Liz Boden, the president of Open Airways, said: “Asthma is very prevalent in Bermuda and it can definitely affect a child’s everyday performance at school, if they have poorly controlled asthma.

“The more people can learn the better, and as a small charity we go to schools, we talk to PTA groups and we do everything we can in getting the message out.”

Ms Boden explained that asthma prevention is an important measure to take due to the “asthma spike” phenomenon that takes place in the second and third weeks of school.

She explained that poor ventilation in classrooms over the summer months can cause mould that could trigger attacks in asthmatic children.

Ms Boden added that viruses picked up by pupils who had been on vacation overseas could be spread around the classroom and also affect children with asthma.

She said: “Because of children changing environments and all these viruses coming you get a great rise in visits to the emergency room, admissions to hospitals and children missing time from school.”

Ms Boden said that teachers could take a free online course at www.openairways.com to learn how to properly identify, handle and prevent an asthma attack.

Open Airways said parents of asthmatic children should make sure their always had an inhaler and spacer to help with asthma attacks.

The charity added that asthmatic children should see a paediatrician every year, have a personal action asthma plan and use a preventer inhaler every day to help control symptoms.

The charity also advised teachers to check which pupils had asthma and its severity and ensure that children had easy access to an inhaler.

Open Airways added that classrooms should have windows that can open and be free of perfumes, aerosol sprays and air fresheners to ensure a safe environment for asthmatic pupils.

The charity said schools should also have a asthma register for vulnerable children and teachers should be trained in how to respond to an asthma attack.

Parents, teachers and school administrators can contact Liz Boden at liz@openaiways.com or Tracy Nash at 232-0264 and nurseopenairways.com for more information