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Asthma Peak Week
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Asthma Peak Week
Even if no one in your family has asthma, this is your chance to be a good ally for folks with breathing disabilities!
Peak week is the sneaky time of year when folks with asthma get hit particularly hard and are vulnerable to sudden and deadly asthma attacks. Please take this seriously.
When is it?
- I mean with climate change – WHO KNOWS?! But typically in late summer or early autumn as school starts and kids start to share germs, folks head indoors with reduced ventilation, ragweed releases its pollen, and mold starts to grow on fallen leaves.
- In past years, the third week of September created the highest concentrations of asthma attacks and hospitalizations.
Read validating books for kids with asthma:
- Clean It! (Ages 2-5) Normalizing characters with asthma.
- Abby’s Asthma and the Big Race (Ages 4-8) Presuming competence, validating and empowering for kids with disabilities. Whether or not you care about asthma, this is such a good find! The story is not just validating for kids with asthma, it also validates the experience of disabled people dealing with friends, teachers, and family who assume folks with disabilities don’t know their own limits.
- The Lion Who Had Asthma (Ages 1-5) If you’ve ever struggled to get a tot to sit still for nebulizer treatments, Our kiddo enjoyed this at 3.5, and it was all he needed to understand his how treatments help with fun make-pretend scenarios to pass the time in his treatments.
- Educate non-asthmatic kids on what asthma is, and how to support a friend who is having trouble breathing.
- But also dismantle myths that suggest kids with asthma are weak or incapable. People with disabilities know their own bodies best!
- Let kids with asthma (even mild and infrequent) know about peak week, so they can pay attention to their bodies. You know how some kids get so distracted by fun, they don’t realize they need to pee and wet their pants? This is like that, but with deadly consequences.
- Talk about your kid’s favorite sport or music genre (both of which require advanced breathing control), and find a few examples of successful people in this genre who live with asthma.
- Presume competence and encourage kids to pay attention to their bodies’ messages. When our kid isn’t showing signs of labored breathing, but he tells us he needs his inhaler, we believe him and we get the damn inhaler!
- Educate recess monitors, sports directors, and educators on the earlier, subtle signs of labored breathing and pending asthma attacks. Since most schools require inhalers be kept in a nurse’s office, you’ll need to account for the time to whisk a child to the nurse and for them to locate and administer medication.
- Set aside time before peak week to check the expiration dates of medications and inhalers, and to get extra refills for sports activities and classrooms.
Additional resources to dig deeper into this topic:
- Kids Stories Normalizing & Destigmatizing Asthma
- Disability History for Kids
- Normalizing disabled characters in kidlit