Heading back to school a dangerous time for kids with asthma - WNEM TV 5

Heading back to school a dangerous time for kids with asthma

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Going back to school can be a fun and somewhat anxious time for kids as they get back to class to learn new things and see old friends.

For kids who suffer from asthma, there could be more to be nervous about than tests and quizzes.

Every night 3-year-old Parker Henige plops down on the couch with his eyes fixated on the TV and grabs his dinosaur mask. As cute as the mask might be, it is saving his life.

Parker has asthma and every evening he is hooked up to a breathing treatment device.

"Two months ago the child care center he goes to called and said he wasn't breathing very well. So when I picked him up his chest was going really high when he was breathing, nose flaring. He just looked really, really tired," said Alison Henige, Parker's mom.

Parker spent the rest of the day in the hospital hooked up to a breathing device for 12 hours. Now, with treatment, his condition is manageable.

Unfortunately for kids like Parker, heading back to school is one of the worst times for kids with asthma.

"When the kids go back to school they're in closer quarters. All the viruses spread out all over town now get focused in one little area," said Dr. Steve Vance, with Covenant.

Vance treated Parker during his time at the hospital. He said more germs at school can bring on asthma attacks, as can increased allergens in the air.

"It's very important for teachers to understand that the child has asthma and what the asthma action plan is," Vance said.

Vance also reminds parents and kids to keep up with their maintenance treatments during the summer, as this can often be forgotten.

For the older kids, make sure to keep their emergency inhalers on standby. Simple things like that can reduce trips to the emergency room.

"So for us, it's just an every day life with Mr. Parker and keeping him healthy," Alison Henige said.

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