Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease which is characterized by attacks of breathing difficulty. It is caused by inflammation and spasms of the muscles in the walls of the lungs. Asthma can be aggravated by allergy to pollen or dust, viral illness, cold, emotions, or exercise. There is no cure but asthma can be controlled with proper diagnosis and management. Treatment consists of avoiding known triggers, recognizing early symptoms, monitoring with a peak flow meter, and medication to reduce or prevent symptoms. Below you will find helpful links for information regarding asthma.
School Considerations for Students with Asthma
If your student has asthma he or she may require a medication or treatment during the school day. An Asthma Action Plan from your Health Care Provider should be completed and returned to the school. The district Registered Nurse will review all forms and determine if additional information is required.
Most elementary age students do not carry their own inhalers, but rather they can be kept in the health office for easy access. This will allow for adult supervision to ensure the student’s proper use of the inhaler as well as their response to the medication. In your student is going to self carry an inhaler, please be sure to have the Health Care Provider indicate as such on the Asthma Actions Plan. Additionally, the parent, student and district Registered Nurse will need to sign a Self Carry Contract for Inhalers. It is strongly recommended to keep a back up inhaler in the health office in the event a student loses or forgets their inhaler.
Inhalers must have a pharmacy label with your student's name.
Student who will require the use of a nebulizer will need to have a completed Asthma Action Plan, as well as the medications that would be used in the nebulizer. Students will need to provide their own nebulizer machines, tubing and mask/pipe. In some instances a nebulizer machine can be borrowed for use in the school health office. For questions about using a school nebulizer machine contact your school health office or district Registered Nurse. All nebulizer equipment and medication will be kept in the school health office.
If No Medication Available
In the event a student is having an asthma exacerbation while at school and no inhaler or nebulizer is available, school staff will take the following steps:
Observe student for level of distress. If student appears in severe distress 911 will be called.
Offer student sips of warm water and continue to observe closely for worsening symptoms.
Notify parent and/or district Registered Nurse.