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Question for teachers- asthmatics and air quality


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#1 amdirel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:29 PM

DD 14yo was anxious this arvo and is refusing to go to school tomorrow, because she said that today the school did not allow any asthmatics to go outside at lunch. DD didn't know this was the case so she went out with her friends, only to be personally called over the PA. She was so embarrassed, especially as she has anxiety.
Apparently they have said the same thing will happen tomorrow.

So my question is, is this a requirement that the school has no say over? If I write a note stating I'm aware of the risks, but I allow her to go outside, would the school allow it?
They were outside at recess, and she walks/busses to and from school anyway, so I'm not sure why lunch time is a problem.

Edit- this is due to the smoke haze in Sydney from the bushfires.

Edited by amdirel, 19 November 2019 - 05:32 PM.


#2 GlitteryElfFarts

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:35 PM

DD20’s school allows them outside if they wish. However they do prefer they go to the library. DD just always made sure she had her puffer in her bag.

#3 José

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:37 PM

I would think it's unlikely they would accept a note from you.
A note from a doctor saying there is no risk to a particular child perhaps....

Can your DD go to the library with friends?
What are the inside options.?

#4 Nobodyelse

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:51 PM

Is this a pollen count thing? As a chronic asthmatic myself, I find it a bit OTT to ban kids from going outside. Pollen is only a mild risk to asthmatics unless there is a thunderstorm threatening and the pollen can suddenly swell with water and be inhaled into the lungs much easier and is really only a major risk to sufferers who also get hayfever as TA is actually less about asthma and more about allergies.

(I was a victim of the large thunderstorm asthma even a few years ago and was rushed to hospital by ambulance - a first in the 35 years of being asthmatic. Afterward, I participated in a study on the phenomenon. This is the advice from one of the lead doctors managing the study at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. But I'm not a doctor.)

#5 amdirel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 05:58 PM

View PostNobodyelse, on 19 November 2019 - 05:51 PM, said:

Is this a pollen count thing? As a chronic asthmatic myself, I find it a bit OTT to ban kids from going outside. Pollen is only a mild risk to asthmatics unless there is a thunderstorm threatening and the pollen can suddenly swell with water and be inhaled into the lungs much easier and is really only a major risk to sufferers who also get hayfever as TA is actually less about asthma and more about allergies.

(I was a victim of the large thunderstorm asthma even a few years ago and was rushed to hospital by ambulance - a first in the 35 years of being asthmatic. Afterward, I participated in a study on the phenomenon. This is the advice from one of the lead doctors managing the study at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne. But I'm not a doctor.)
No, sorry, I have now clarified in my OP. It's due to bushfire smoke hanging over Sydney.

#6 PhillipaCrawford

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:00 PM

School would have no choice. Risk management plan would say to minimise exposure to allergens.


If a child allergic to peanuts told the school he was going to eat peanut butter and it was his decision???

Asthma kills far more than anaphylaxis.

#7 Anonforthistime

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:01 PM

I know that the smoke tends to flare up DDs asthma so she would choose for herself not to go out if she was allowed.
I think the school could probably communicate it better - to students, teachers and parents, but I think in terms of risk management they are trying to do the right thing.
I can only imagine the sick bay staff trying to deal with more than 2-3 kids having asthma attacks at the same time.

#8 Nobodyelse

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:06 PM

View Postamdirel, on 19 November 2019 - 05:58 PM, said:

No, sorry, I have now clarified in my OP. It's due to bushfire smoke hanging over Sydney.

Oh, in that case I can see the reason but it sounds a bit badly managed.

#9 too tired to care

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:10 PM

When all people with lung and respiratory issues are  being told to stay inside and not to do any strenuous activity due to hazardous air pollution/ quality by the RFS and by medical professionals then the school has little choice.

i have been getting alerts from the RFS and this article has been headlining the paper today.
https://www.smh.com....119-p53bt2.html

A note will not change the schools response because they are taking the medical advice seriously.  It is about keeping her safe regardless of how she feels, and they have a duty of care to follow the advice.
Your daughter is not old enough,  especially when the school is responsible  for her, to determine to risk her own health and potentially her life against all medical advice, and this is what i would explain to her.

#10 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 19 November 2019 - 06:14 PM

It’s sounds like it was badly managed. But I doubt the school would accept a note from a parent stating it would be fine for her to be outside. It’s part of their risk analysis and considering the awful air quality warning that were issued it is part of their duty of care to make sure the children under their care are not exposed to something that could cause a medical emergency.

I’d be working on teaching your child to not be embarrassed about something like being asthmatic and being more aware of looking after her health. It’s not like asthma is uncommon and it certainly isn’t something to be embarrassed about. Understanding your health is part of growing up, and understanding something like asthma and what’s going on and why you might need to do something like stay inside when the air quality is considered hazardous is even more important.

Edited by mayahlb, 19 November 2019 - 07:05 PM.


#11 amdirel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:13 PM

View Postmayahlb, on 19 November 2019 - 06:14 PM, said:

It’s sounds like it was badly managed. But I doubt the school would accept a note from a parent stating it would be fine for her to be outside. It’s part of their risk analysis and considering the awful air quality warning that were issued it is part of their duty of care to make sure the children under their care are not exposed to something that could cause a medical emergency.

I’d be working on teaching your child to not be embarrassed about something like being asthmatic and being more aware of looking after her health. It’s not like asthma isn’t uncommon and it certainly isn’t something to be embarrassed about. Understanding your health is part of growing up, and understanding something like asthma and what’s going on and why you might need to do something like stay inside when the air quality is considered hazardous is even more important.

Oh she's not embarrassed about her asthma at all. She's anxious about being socially isolated from her friends. She said she asked her friends to come with her but they didn't want to (not sure if that's true or not). I really do understand where the school is coming from, but I guess I also wonder where does it stop? Do they they keep them inside every smokey day? Every time there's a high pollen count, or dust storm? Plus they dismiss the students out into the environment anyway.

#12 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:20 PM

Amdirel did you read the warning regarding the air quality today? The count was up near 600. Good is 66 in comparison. Medical authorities were quiet clear that the potential for air quality causing life threatening illnesses in anyone with respiratory and heart conditions was high. It’s not being overly cautious. Honestly if you kid had had an asthma attack caused by the air quality you’d have a completely different tune. Risk management is that. Managing how much risk you are exposed too. Yes they are dismissed into the environment but while they are at school they are making sure the risk of having a child have a life threatening emergency is low. By making them stay inside.

Edited by mayahlb, 19 November 2019 - 07:22 PM.


#13 Grrrumbles

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:23 PM

I have never come across this but at DS’s previous school the after school care provided hats and when they got new ones the asthmatics (and other health issues I think) had to wear a different colour. He now attends a different school that has the same afters provider but not this arrangement with the hats.
Back on topic, my DS is very sensitive to smoke despite not having severe asthma. I will be asking the school not to get him to exercise outside when there is smoke in the air after he had breathing difficulties during cross country this year.

#14 MayaTheGrinch

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:25 PM

^^^ I’ve spent the last three days having to take my puffer every 3-4 hours. Because there was a fire up the road from us. And our air quality isn’t considered anywhere near as bad as the area adrimel lives in.

#15 PrincessPeach

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:27 PM

Im Qld & so i discovered last week, our primary school keeps all the kids indoors when air quality reaches very poor.

I think it was badly managed by the school, but I fully understand their reasoning. However, really all students should have been given an indoor option, my non-asthmatic has been struggling the last week with all the smoke & dust, and i really dont think he would be alone.

#16 Expelliarmus

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:41 PM

Honestly I think it’s fair enough that the staff don’t want to be put in the position of having to manage an asthma attack that could be prevented.

We keep asthmatics in the library when air quality deems it the best action plan. I don’t think it’s fair for a family to put our staff in that position.

Edited by Expelliarmus, 19 November 2019 - 08:09 PM.


#17 purplekitty

Posted 19 November 2019 - 07:47 PM

It would be hard to defend if a negative medical event happened considering how serious the warnings have been.

#18 Heather11

Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:11 PM

I'm not even in the same State and I know about the current warnings.  It's all over the national news bulletins.

I think it would be irresponsible of the school to not follow the guidelines which seem to be for anyone with respiratory issues or potential respiratory issues to stay indoors.

#19 Krampus

Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:13 PM

I wish my school would do this!. I kept my kids home yesterday because of the air quality. It's one of those situations where safety has to take precedence.

It would probably work better if everyone was kept in, to avoid social issues, but it is good that they are taking things seriously.

#20 casime

Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:20 PM

Quote

Oh she's not embarrassed about her asthma at all. She's anxious about being socially isolated from her friends. She said she asked her friends to come with her but they didn't want to (not sure if that's true or not). I really do understand where the school is coming from, but I guess I also wonder where does it stop? Do they they keep them inside every smokey day? Every time there's a high pollen count, or dust storm? Plus they dismiss the students out into the environment anyway.


She is at risk when the air quality reaches a certain point.  The school has taken steps to make sure that students at risk from these air conditions are kept safe.  If she is upset because her friends wouldn't come with her, then she needs to find better friends.

#21 Riotproof

Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:24 PM

I don’t have asthma. I do get hay fever, and am quite sensitive to fumes in general. I have felt so ill these last few days, especially in the morning.

Was so thankful that it was super hot today, so the primary kids had lunch inside.

#22 amdirel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 08:32 PM

Yes I get the risks. Yes I understand the poor air quality. It's just a bit odd that students are still expected to get to school and then get home, but at 1-2pm it's too dangerous.

I do wish that they would keep everyone in, or least give everyone the option. Instead of just forcing a random group of people in, and for DD to be announced over the PA.

Anyway DD explained that because their exams finished last week, they're not doing a lot at the moment, mostly just watching documentaries or movies, so I'm considering letting her stay home. But she just manages to find so many excuses to stay home from school, I just don't like this being yet another one that she can add to her list of "you've let me before so therefore you need to let me again" things.

View PostExpelliarmus, on 19 November 2019 - 07:41 PM, said:

I don’t think it’s fair for a family to put our staff in that position.

Good point, thank you for giving me that perspective.

#23 MrsLexiK

Posted 19 November 2019 - 09:10 PM

But they are not a group of random students. They are a group of students who have asthma and the air quality is so poor at the moment where you live because of the bush fires.

#24 amdirel

Posted 19 November 2019 - 09:13 PM

View PostMrsLexiK, on 19 November 2019 - 09:10 PM, said:

But they are not a group of random students. They are a group of students who have asthma and the air quality is so poor at the moment where you live because of the bush fires.
Random as in random to DD socially. I wrote in my OP that the asthmatics were kept in; I do realise they have asthma!

#25 Julie3Girls

Posted 19 November 2019 - 09:30 PM

Our school has indoor options, and allow more indoor areas to be used under certain conditions (extreme heat or wet weather) and yes, with the current heat and smoke, they have been advising the kids to choose indoor options, particularly anyone with respiratory problems. This goes alongside with advice to keep up with water, and avoid running/sporting activities during break.  So not forced, but certainly encouraged and made aware. Most kids I know with asthma (including my own) are aware of what sets the off by high school age.





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