Your Child's Asthma: School Strategies
If your child has asthma, you may worry about how he or she copes with asthma at school.
Research shows that informed, supportive teachers and staff can play a big role in
helping students manage their asthma.
The CDC has identified 6 key strategies that teachers and staff can use to help children
with asthma thrive at school. Not every strategy is appropriate or practical for every
school situation. In general, however, the more strategies used, the better. You can
help by encouraging your child’s school to use these strategies:
Asthma education for all. Ideally, everyone from teachers and principals to cafeteria staff and bus drivers
should know the basics about asthma. They should also be taught how to respond to
an asthma emergency. Basic information about asthma should be taught in health classes.
School health services. You, your child, and your child’s healthcare provider should work together to develop
an asthma action plan. It should cover issues such as asthma triggers and medicines,
peak-flow and symptom monitoring. It should also include emergency procedures, when
to call the parent, when to call a healthcare provider, and when to call 911. Give
a written copy of this plan to the school. Make sure your child’s teachers and other
relevant staff members have the plan and understand what it means. Be sure appropriate
staff members know how to give reliever medicines and that they all know where the
child’s medicine is stored.
Healthy air quality. Tobacco use should be banned on school property. Good pest control practices can help
control cockroaches and other allergy-causing pests. During any construction or remodeling
of the school, steps should be taken to reduce the amount of dust and debris in the
Safe physical activities. All children need exercise, and a child with asthma should be encouraged to take
part in physical activities like everyone else. In some cases, the activity may need
to be modified to make sure it’s safe and appropriate. Your child should also have
ready access to any medicines that might be needed before or during exercise.
Cooperation. The school should inform you about any steps being taken to help reduce exposure
to triggers. You, in turn, need to keep the school updated about any changes in your
child’s asthma action plan.
Community support. The CDC has found that asthma-friendly schools are most effective when they have a
strong support from the community. Administrators, teachers and staff need support
from the school system and community.
So speak up, offer suggestions, and share resources. Not only will you be helping
your child, but you'll also help other children with asthma.
Good asthma control at school can improve your child’s ability to learn and participate
in activities. Fewer symptoms also mean fewer restrictions on fun school activities,
such as recess, sports, and field trips. Knowing that the school is prepared to handle
an asthma emergency means less worry for you. And, teachers and other staff who understand
asthma can more effectively help your child and others.