Managing Asthma in a School Setting
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.
1. Is your school free of tobacco smoke all of the time, including during school-sponsored events?
2. Does the school maintain good indoor air quality? Does it reduce or eliminate allergens and irritants that can make asthma worse, including 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?
3. 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 school health plans and give guidance to students with asthma about medicines, physical education and field trips?
4. Can children take medicines at school as recommended by their doctor and parents? May children carry their own asthma medicines?
5. 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?
6. 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?
7. 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.
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: 800-7-ASTHMA or 202-466-7643
- Asthma and Allergy Essentials for Child Care Providers (training program)
National Institute of Allergy 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.
Back to top
- Asthma School Form (PDF, 107 kb) — to be completed by health care provider
- Asthma Check-Up Questionnaire (PDF, 85 kb)