Moving to college with asthma or allergies

For a graduating senior, chances are that right now they are focusing on prom, final exams, and graduation. They might not yet be thinking a few months down the road when they will be moving into a dorm room at their dream college. But for a senior with asthma or allergies, now is the exact time to be thinking about your big move. Some simple preplanning now can ensure the transition to college is a rewarding one.

Three Months Out

Schedule a final check-up with your doctor. Use this opportunity to confirm an asthma or allergy management plan, get copies of prescriptions and pick up any extra medications that may be needed. If this is something your parents have typically done in the past, now is the time to familiarize yourself with it all.

Have a severe case of asthma? Contact your college to request a room that is away from a high fumes area such as near the bus stop or near where trucks make their deliveries to the dorm.

Have food allergies? Contact university food service to check how allergies are treated in the dormitory cafeterias.

One Month Out

Purchase cleaning supplies. Chances are good that your new room will need a good wipe down before you call it home. Disposable dusting cloths, wet wipes and bathroom cleaners will be needed at a minimum.

Purchase allergy-proof bedding. Confirm with your college that the bedding you are going to purchase is the correct size. Extra-long is commonly used in dorms.

Get a copy of the school map and locate the hospital or health services center. Locate the closest pharmacy for filling prescriptions while you are away at school.

Start packing! Utilize long, plastic moving containers so any items that you keep stored during the school year do not get dust in them.

Move In

Talk to your roommate, resident advisor (RA), and anyone else you feel comfortable with about your allergy or asthma. Let them know the triggers, symptoms to be aware of and location of your epi pen or medications.

Pick the top bunk. This will prevent you from breathing in bedding dust from another above you.

Cover the bed with the allergy-proof bedding before putting anything else on the bed.

Once You Are Settled

Make sure you keep enough medication on hand and always have a back-up epi pen.

Keep clutter in your room to a minimum. Dust and vacuum at least weekly.

And most importantly…Have Fun!

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