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Why asthma is important

  • Asthma is a chronic health condition of the respiratory tract that is thought to affect 8.6 million children in the United States.
  • Asthma accounts for 14 million lost days of school missed annually.
  • Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among those younger than 15 years of age.

Children who have asthma do best with a comprehensive approach to asthma that includes medical assessment and management - including the use of medications and control of environmental triggers.

A comprehensive approach also includes a commitment from all of the adults and all of the systems that interact with the child. Because children spend at least six hours a day, five days a week, in the school environment, the school system is a key component of a child's comprehensive asthma management.

Continuing education programs

Participate in continuing education programs designed to increase knowledge about asthma and asthma management:

  • Schoolnurse.com
    School Health Alert
    Offers school nurses and other health professionals the opportunity to earn continuing education credit via the web, on their own schedule, from the comfort of their home or office. You can also register to receive a free weekly e-mail newsletter (the "School Nurse-Zine").

Policies and routines

Establish policies and routines that minimize barriers to students using prescribed asthma medications:

Physical environment for factors that may contribute to asthma

  • Indoor Air Quality: Tools for Schools
    The Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan of action to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost using straightforward activities and in-house staff.

Establish and follow a plan

Work collaboratively with parents, students and healthcare providers to establish and follow a plan for minimizing symptoms and responding to symptoms when they occur: