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How asthma-friendly is your school?

June 10, 2008 - 7:30am
 
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How asthma-friendly is your school?

Children with asthma need proper support at school to keep their asthma under control and be fully active. Use the questions below to find out how well your school assists children with asthma:

  • Is your school free of tobacco smoke all of the time, including during school-sponsored events?
  • Does the school maintain good indoor air quality?
  • Does it reduce or eliminate allergens and irritants that can make asthma worse? Allergens and irritants include pets with fur or feathers, mold, dust mites (for example, in carpets and upholstery), cockroaches, and strong odors or fumes from such products as pesticides, paint, perfumes, and cleaning chemicals.
  • Is there a school nurse in your school all day, every day? If not, is a nurse regularly available to the school to help write plans and give guidance for students with asthma about medicines, physical education, and field trips?
  • Can children take medicines at school as recommended by their doctor and parents?
  • May children carry their own asthma medicines?
  • Does your school have an emergency plan for taking care of a child with a severe asthma episode (attack)?
  • Is it made clear what to do? Who to call? When to call?
  • Does someone teach school staff about asthma, asthma management plans, and asthma medicines?
  • Does someone teach all students about asthma and how to help a classmate who has it?
  • Do students have good options for fully and safely participating in physical education class and recess? (For example, do students have access to their medicine before exercise? Can they choose modified or alternative activities when medically necessary?)

If the answer to any question is no, students may be facing obstacles to asthma control. Asthma out of control can hinder a student's attendance, participation, and progress in school. School staff, health professionals, and parents can work together to remove obstacles and to promote students' health and education.

Contact the organizations listed below for information about asthma and helpful ideas for making school policies and practices more asthma-friendly. Federal and State laws are there to help children with asthma..

Resource organizations for parents and school staff

National Asthma Education and Prevention Program
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Information Center
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
(301) 592-8573
Internet: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/about/naepp
 
NAEPP materials include:

Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, Inc.
2751 Prosperity Avenue, Suite 150
Fairfax, VA 22031 (800) 878-4403 or (703) 641-9595
Internet: http://www.aanma.org

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
611 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(800) 822-ASMA or (414) 272-6071
Internet: http://www.aaaai.org

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
(800) 433-9016 or (847) 228-5005
Internet: http://www.aap.org

American Association for Respiratory Care
Internet: http://www.aarc.org

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
85 West Algonquin Road, Suite 550
Arlington Heights, IL 60005 (800) 842-7777 or (847) 427-1200
Internet: http://allergy.mcg.edu

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
1125 15th Street, N.W., Suite 502
Washington, DC 20005
(800) 7-ASTHMA or (202) 466-7643
Internet: http://www.aafa.org

Healthy Kids: The Key to Basics Educational Planning for Students With Asthma and Other Chronic Health Conditions
79 Elmore Street
Newton, MA 02159-1137
(617) 965-9637

U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, Customer Service Team
Mary E. Switzer Building 330 C Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-1328
(800) 421-3481 or (202) 205-5413
Internet: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OCR

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Indoor Environments Division 401 M Street, S.W. (6604J)
Washington, DC 20460
(202) 233-9370
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
(800) 438-4318
Internet: http://www.epa.gov/iaq

Source: 

National Institutes of Health

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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