Back To School

Going back to school in the age of COVID with allergies and asthma!

Starting school can be stressful for anyone, but when you combine allergies and asthma with school during the time of COVID, there can be more challenges. I was worried at first about wearing a mask all school day because breathing is already a challenge for me, but it truly presented no additional difficulty. I am grateful to have school in person, but here are some tips I learned for going back to school during COVID.

Know your school policies regarding COVID and quarantine.  

Many of my allergy symptoms mimic symptoms of COVID, I didn’t realize that I could be sent home because of my allergies. I had a stuffy nose and a sore throat at the beginning of the school year, and I couldn’t return to school until my symptoms subsided. Luckily, my doctor sent a note to my school nurse regarding my allergies and when they tend to peak, and I was able to go back. Sometimes, when sick,  it is hard to know the difference and occasionally I will get tested for COVID just to make sure my symptoms are all allergy related. 

Update your Asthma/Allergy Plans

It is always important to be prepared for school, but even more so in the age of COVID. School nurses are extremely busy this year dealing with potential positive cases, protocols, and quarantine measures on top of their already busy schedules. It is important to make sure you have an action plan in case of an emergency. It is also important to make sure your medications are given to the school in case you need them and any forms are filled out so that they can be administered. I also learned that the school was suggesting kids with asthma bring inhalers because nebulizers send particles into the air which could spread viruses.

Speak Up

Having asthma and allergies can make you seem different from other kids, which may cause teasing or bullying. When you have allergies or a cough during COVID, this can create unnecessary panic. Make sure you speak up and talk to a parent, teacher, or healthcare provider if you need guidance or help. 

This year may be a challenging one, but if you plan and speak up when you need to, hopefully, it will be a great one.

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