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Friday, August 16, 2013

Perfect attendance with asthma?

(Shutterstock image)

Can your child EVER be one of the kids who gets a "Perfect Attendance!!!!!" certificate at the end of the school year?

Maybe. My kids never did. All three of my teenagers have asthma (thanks to Hubby and I-they inherited it from us!)  Our youngest two teenagers were hospitalized 12 separate times when they were younger. So they missed A LOT of school. And even the days when they weren't sick enough to be hospitalized, they would spend days at home having breathing treatments. Or just being so weak that they can't do much but lay on the couch and watch TV. It's amazing what happens to your body when you don't get enough oxygen.

AANMA (Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics) has a great article on their website this month. It's called "Perfect Attendance: Mission Impossible?"  It really depends on how severe your child's asthma is. Maybe for kids who have mild asthma, they might be able to make it through the school year without missing class.

Son #2 has asthma so severe that he's almost stopped breathing twice (while in the hospital) which would have led to cardiac arrest and death. Yes, you read that right. You can die from asthma. It wasn't exactly the happiest time of our lives. To say it was stressful would be an understatement!!

When he and his sister were hospitalized, it was almost always due to pneumonia. Respiratory infections are always worse when you have asthma. Smoke from forest fires can also land your kids in the hospital. That was the other reason that almost caused Son #2 to stop breathing. Scary stuff!!

There are things to watch for in your school to help your child succeed. The article from the website above has a list of ideas. There are things in the school that can trigger asthma attacks. So check out your kid's classrooms. Make sure you are REALLY good friends with their teachers and the school nurse. They are there to teach and protect your kids. They can be that extra set of eyes that can let you know if your child is having a tough time in school. They can also help you spot what might be triggering problems with their asthma.  

Make sure you talk to your child's doctor if they are still struggling. He/she can also change medications or adjust the dose. They want to see your kids be happy in school too :)

They may just be one of the lucky kids that get "Perfect Attendance!!!" certificates at the end of school. I wanted to print out certificates that said "You made it through the school year alive!!!" Congratulations!! 

Don't worry, it gets better.


  1. Hi Andrea,
    Thank you for sharing your experience! We are a startup developing an educational game to motivate kids to manage their asthma, and we are interested in connecting with you.

    Specifically, we create virtual pets for phones and tablets in which the pet also has asthma. We've designed our pet to teach and motivate proper management actions.

    We want to learn more about the challenges you face, and specifically how our app could be useful to you. Your feedback will directly inform our design.

    Is there any interest in discussing this or connecting offline? Any thoughts on or experiences using these educational games?

    Our website:

    Hope to hear from you! Thank you!

    1. Hi Nancy, I'll look up your website and get back with you, thanks! ;)

    2. Hi Andrea,
      Thank you, and we would love to hear your feedback. We actually just launched a survey to better understand the needs of dedicated parents like you, so we can build a game that can effectively help you and your kids.

      I'd greatly appreciate if you can take 5 min to respond to this survey from the link below, and spread the word. Your input will directly impact our development.

      Thank you very much! :)

    3. Thanks for the reminder, I had a sticky note to look up LifeGuard games, but lost the note!

  2. Hello Andrea,
    Thank you for your post. This is an accurate reality on what it is like to care for young children who suffer from varying states of asthma. Parent's and children need to learn the signs to look for when it comes to asthma and should always be setting up safety measures with people that they know in order to be better prepared. Even when children cannot go through their school life unhindered, they can learn to manage their disease through their experiences.

    1. Hi Summit, thanks for stopping by! I agree, asthma can be managed. And it takes a lot of people to help kids succeed in school.

      You're only a kid once, you should enjoy life as much as you can! :)