Managing Asthma in the School Environment

Schools can play an important role in helping your child manage their asthma by providing support through an asthma action plan.

The asthma management plan should include school policies on the use of inhalers and medications, actions or emergency procedures staff should take when a student has an asthma attack, and student asthma action plans.

Washington State Law (RCW 28A.210.370) requires that in-service training on asthma be provided by all school districts for school personnel. “The Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Secretary of the Department of Health shall develop a uniform policy for all districts providing for the in-service training for school staff on the symptoms, treatment, and monitoring of students with asthma and on the additional observations that may be needed in different situations that may arise during the school day and during school-sponsored events. The policy shall include standards and skills that must be in place for in-service training of school staff.”

Student Asthma Action Plan

The student asthma action plan serves as an individual management plan for each student with asthma. It provides pertinent information to school officials on each student’s asthma condition. The asthma action plan should contain the student’s medical information, identified asthma triggers, actions to take, emergency procedures, and phone numbers. This action plan should be signed by the child’s physician. Afterwards, the physician, parent or caregiver, and the school each keep a copy of the student’s action plan.

Asthma Action Plan

Share Your Asthma Action Plan

Share your asthma action plan with all the adults who regularly interact with your child at school. These individuals might include:

  • Teachers, including music, art and physical education teachers
  • After-school caregivers
  • Bus drivers

These individuals need to know about your child’s asthma and how best to help keep your child’s symptoms under control.

Stay in touch

Has your action plan changed? Keep your physician, school nurse/health assistant and teachers informed of:

  • Changes in your child’s asthma symptoms or overall condition
  • Medication changes
  • Revisions to your child’s asthma action plan, including your contact information
  • Recent asthma flare-ups or attacks
  • Specific times when asthma triggers may be a greater risk for your child, such as changes in seasons or during times of increased anxiety/stress or physical activity

Be proactive in managing your child’s asthma at school. A team approach is key to keeping his or her asthma under control.

Learn more at the Puget Sound Asthma Coalition.

Source: American Lung Association