Managing Asthma in a Daycare Setting
Children with asthma need proper support in childcare settings to keep their asthma under control and be fully active. Use the questions below to find out how well your childcare setting assists children with asthma.
1. Is the childcare setting free of tobacco smoke at all times?
2. Is there good ventilation in the childcare setting? Are allergens and irritants that can make asthma worse reduced or eliminated? Check if any of the following are present: cockroaches, dust mites, mold, pets with fur or feathers, strong odors or fumes from art and craft supplies, pesticides, paint, perfumes, air fresheners and cleaning chemicals.
3. Is there a medical or nursing consultant available to help childcare staff write policies and guidelines for managing medications in the childcare setting, reducing allergens and irritants, promoting safe physical activities and planning field trips for students with asthma?
4. Is the childcare staff prepared to give medications as prescribed by each child's physician and authorized by each child's parent? May children carry their own asthma medicines when appropriate? Is there someone available to supervise children while taking asthma medicines and monitor correct inhaler use?
5. Is there a written, individualized emergency plan for each child in case of a severe asthma episode (attack)? Does the plan make clear what action to take? Whom to call? When to call?
6. Does a nurse, respiratory therapist, or other knowledgeable person teach child-care staff about asthma, asthma management plans, reducing allergens and irritants, and asthma medicines? Does someone teach all the children about asthma and how to help a classmate who has it?
7. Does the childcare provider help children with asthma participate safely in physical activities? For example, are children encouraged to be active? Can children take or be given their medicine before exercise? Are modified or alternative activities when medically necessary?
If the answer to any question is no, children in your childcare setting may be facing obstacles to controlling their asthma. Uncontrolled asthma can hinder a child's attendance, participation and progress in school. Childcare staff, health professionals and parents can work together to remove obstacles and promote children's health and development.
Contact the organizations listed for information about asthma and helpful ideas for making school policies and practices more asthma-friendly. Federal and state laws are in place to help children with asthma.
Resources for Parents and Childcare Staff
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program
- Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools
- Asthma Awareness Curriculum for the Elementary Classroom
- Asthma and Physical Activity in the School
- Making a Difference: Asthma Management in the School (video)
Telephone: 800-878-4403 or 703-641-9595
- Breathing Easy with Child Care (booklet)
- School Information Package
Telephone: 800-822-ASMA or 414-272-6071
American Academy of Pediatrics
Telephone: 800-433-9016 or 847-228-5005
- Caring for Our Children: Health and Safety Guidelines for Child Care (book)
American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
Telephone: 800-842-7777 or 847-427-1200
American Lung Association
- A is for Asthma (Sesame Street video)
Telephone: 800-ASTHMA or 202-466-7643
- Asthma and Allergy Essentials for Child Care Providers (training program)
and Infectious Diseases
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
U.S. Department of Education
Office for Civil Rights, Customer Service Team
Telephone: 800-421-3481 or 202-205-5413
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Indoor Environments Division
Indoor Air Quality Information Clearinghouse
This page lists additional resources recommended by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. PAMF does not sponsor or endorse any of these sites, nor does PAMF guarantee the accuracy of the information contained on them. In addition, PAMF has no control over the privacy practices of external Web sites. The user should read and understand the policies of all Web sites with respect to their privacy practices. These links are provided for your general information and education only, and should NOT be relied upon for personal diagnosis or treatment. If you have questions, please contact your health care provider.
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