The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) president, Dr. Luz Fonacier, has extended concern over the take care of children as the schools are deciding to reopen this winter. He emphasized children’s protection against the common cold, flu, and other viruses that can put children with asthma at great risk, besides guarding against the Covid viruses. This would mandate wearing masks and maintaining clean hands with hand washes or sanitizers wherever and whenever possible.
ACAAI Gives Alert On Children’s Safety As Schools Plan To Reopen
Fonacier said that it is absolutely not known what is in store for the Americans in the coming weeks. If the number of infection cases starts rising again, then it will be very important to safeguard the safety of the children. Besides providing them with Covid vaccines, which are being administered to kids aged 12 and above (Pfizer vaccine), they should also be given the flu vaccines. Although the number of flu cases was at a low last year, as children stayed back home, it would be a good decision to give them the flu vaccines this year. The vaccines can protect them from something preventable.
The ACAAI is alerting parents whose children suffer from asthma and allergies, to be specifically careful about their child’s health and plan out accordingly. They should consult the allergist to remain aware of their kids’ condition. According to ACAAI, children who are under constant supervision of an allergist have a 77% less chance of missing school. Children with asthma attacks and other allergic complications, tend to miss out on school days. Such incidents can be controlled to a large extent by administering the flu vaccines that would boost their immune systems which would, in turn, help them cope with the present situation better.
Fonacier advises the parents of children prone to allergies, to work with allergists and make sure that the medications are in accordance with their respective heights and weights. They should also keep in mind that the asthma action plans are well recorded and updated and that the symptoms are all below critical levels. All this should be clarified with the school personnel well before the school sessions begin.
Not only should the parents consult the allergists, but the school authorities should also help the parents in maintaining a healthy environment for these special kids. Children with asthma and allergy tend to wheezing and sneezing in presence of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), which could be a component of new carpets at school. It is thus, important for parents to discuss the probable triggers that can cause allergic reactions during school hours.
ACAAI recommends parents ask school authorities about any new carpeting that has been done recently or if there are any school pets that can cause allergies or the presence of molds in bathrooms or even an open window to let in pollens. Also if the child has any form of food allergy, that should be reported to the school authorities so that a proper action plan can be sorted out. The school authorities should assist such parents with utmost care and give full support so that the child can attend the maximum number of school days. It further urges all parents to provide the school with all the necessary documents and emergency contact details in case of any urgency.