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The American Lung Association has put together these tips to help.
Know Your At-risk Students Does your school's health form include questions about asthma? Tracking students with asthma can ensure they receive proper health services. The American Lung Association provides resources to help. Check out the Maximizing School Health Services section of the Asthma-Friendly Schools toolkit.
File Asthma Action Plans Students’ physicians can help develop a care plan that clearly outlines what should be done when asthma symptoms strike. Teachers and school staff should keep copies of the asthma action plan for students they see on a regular basis.
Allow Access to Quick-relief Medicines State law allows students to carry and use asthma medicines at school. School policies can vary, though. Schools should let parents know if they require a medication release form so children can use their inhaler or other medication.
Keep the Air Clean Poor indoor air can trigger asthma symptoms. Keep an eye on asthma triggers. Mold, pet dander, air fresheners and cleaning chemicals are all culprits. Use the Healthy Air Classroom Checklist from the American Lung Association.
Be Prepared for an Emergency Situation Knowing what to do in an asthma emergency can save lives. Learn more about asthma emergency protocols.
Go Tobacco Free Keep the school community safe with a tobacco-free policy. Make sure the policy covers both indoor and outdoor areas.
Employ a Full-time Registered Nurse School nurses are uniquely qualified to provide health services and health counseling to students. They can also help motivate parents and link them to resources in the community.
Educate, Educate, Educate Teachers, school staff, parents and children can all benefit from asthma education.
Reduce Exposure on High Pollution Days Outdoor air pollution makes breathing more difficult for everyone. Check AirNow.gov on a daily basis for local air quality info.
Encourage Safe Physical Activity Students with asthma and their caregivers may be concerned about over exertion. By following the steps outlined above, you can help everyone feel confident that students with asthma can safely take part in physical activities. The Asthma-friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit offers strategies to use throughout the school year.
How asthma-friendly is your school? Use this checklist from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to see if you’re providing a supportive environment.
To learn more about asthma and the Taking on Asthma initiative, visit our website.
Originally published 6/27/2016; Revised 2021
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