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Teacher’s surgery

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By Dr Hannah Mortimereducational psychologist.

As a student teacher or NQT, you’re not expected to be an expert on special needs, but being familiar with some of the basic facts can be a bonus…

Child using inhaler

Asthma

What you need to know

  • Asthma causes children to cough, wheeze, have a tight chest and get short of breath. This is because their airways are almost always inflamed and sensitive. These airways react badly when the child has a cold or comes into contact with an asthma ‘trigger’.
  • Common asthma triggers include viral infections, pollen, cigarette smoke, house-dust mites, furry or feathery pets, exercise, air pollution and stress.
  • Children whose asthma has been diagnosed by a doctor will need to take a dose of their prescribed reliever medication when they have symptoms. This is usually given by inhaler. Some children need to use a preventer inhaler each day as well.
  • Asthma symptoms can be very mild for some children, and extremely severe for others.
  • Each school should have guidance on the use of medication in school, who can administer it and what consents are needed from parents and carers and doctors.
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