If your dining table is not drowning in back-to-school stuff for your children by mid-January, how do you even know you’re a parent?
There’s books, stationery, shoes, new uniforms…and rolls and rolls of contact. So much contact.
Back-to-school is next level for us this year because we’re at not only a new school, but we’ve moved cities and states, too.
But that doesn’t phase me as much as the fact that I have to start fresh with explaining that my son has multiple food allergies. It’s sometimes stressful being an allergy parent because not everyone gets it.
And of course I also need to check the medication in the allergy kit I send to school. Is it still within date? Did we pull anything out of it during the holidays? Knowing my son, he probably did.
I panicked a little the other day thinking that I should see whether there are different ways of doing things here. Like, do schools generally need more specific information on medication labels? We don’t have a family doctor yet, so I’m planning to pop into the local chemist and have a quick chat with the pharmacist. Because pharmacists are great like that – they’re so accessible. And I’m not just saying that because one of my oldest friends is a pharmacist (and I miss her!).
Our local one back home was an expert at thinking ahead, because he looked at our family’s health as a whole. In fact, last January, when I collected my son’s updated allergy medication, he’s the one who suggested that I also look at my son’s asthma plan.
My first thought was that it sounded strange – did I really need to be worried about asthma in the dry Australian summer? My son’s asthma was usually triggered by the cold, and him having a cold.
It turns out the answer is yes, I do need to think about asthma in summer. Asthma Australia reports that emergency departments see an increase in children’s asthma incidents at the start of each school year.
The spike in asthma-related hospital attendance is caused by a number of factors, such as pollen, grass, dust, dry heat, sudden changes in weather, the smell of chlorine around swimming pools, and an increase in exposure to viruses and infections from their classmates.