Asthma attacks increase in schools - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Asthma attacks increase in schools

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September 13, 2006

Albany --The start of a new school year often means a rise in the number of asthma attacks doctors treat in students. Many attacks can be prevented with proper medication, hand-washing, and eliminating strong scents.

School nurse Ri Lamb uses a nebulizer to treat asthma-suffering students. This time of year she treats students with the condition quite often.

"When the weather is warm and the air is muggy, it's harder for them to breathe, we see far more asthma attacks in the fall," said school nurse Ri Lamb.

Nurse Lamb says there are ways to control respiratory conditions from the weather.

"There are two things that are in this inhaler. One is a propellent, and the other is medication," said Lamb.

Lamb is concerned because some asthma-suffering students don't always carry their rescue inhalers.

School nurses want parents with asthmatic students to take an active role in their child's health. Make sure there's an inhaler on hand at the school clinic, as well as one on the student during the school day.

The start of the school year is a busy time for offices like the Allergy and Asthma Clinics of Georgia.

Doctor Tracy Bridges says many factors lead to the increase in asthma attacks, such as air-borne allergins, but also being near other students.

Back in an enivronment of closeness, proximity together, then upper respiratory infections are easily transmitted from one child to another," said Dr. Tracy Bridges.

That's an issue school nurses like Ri Lamb deal with. She wants parents to talk to school nurses about their child's health conditions.

"We can prevent them from going into an emergency room if we just know in advance that they're going to have some respiratory problems," said Lamb.

Students can't control when an asthma attack strikes, but parents can make sure their student has medicine at the school in case it happens during the school day.

More than 200-thousand children in Georgia have asthma, and more than half of them have missed school because of their asthma.

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