The Connecticut Department of Public Health, in collaboration with the State Department of Education, has produced a resource for schools to assist in the management of children with asthma. Asthma that is not well managed can result in school absences, disruptions in the classroom, reduced participation in school activities, and medical emergencies. All of these outcomes, as stated above, can contribute to poor academic achievement.
These resource tools, Managing Asthma in Connecticut Schools: A Resource Manual for School Staff and Managing Asthma in Connecticut's Childcare Facilities are references that can be integrated into school environments for each group of school personnel. There are separate text sections for the school administrator, school medical advisor, school nurse, and school staff, including teachers, coaches and custodians as well as information for families. Most sections include additional materials for reference, handouts or examples.
The IAQ Tools for Schools Program is a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems. Poor indoor air quality can impact the comfort and health of students and staff, which, in turn, can affect concentration, attendance, and student performance. In addition, if schools fail to respond promptly to poor IAQ, students and staff are at an increased risk of short-term health problems, such as fatigue and nausea, as well as long-term problems like asthma.
The School Flag Program developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a program for schools to notify school staff, students, and parents about local outdoor air quality. A designated person at the school will raise a brightly colored flag each day based on that day's forecast.
The American Lung Association's Open Airways for Schools (OAS) is an asthma management program for school children aged 8-11 who have been diagnosed with asthma. OAS consists of six 40-minute group lessons for children with asthma held during the school day. OAS uses group discussion, stories, games and role play to help students take part in the program.
The American Lung Association's Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative. The Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative is a powerful public health project that has the potential to positively impact the millions of American students with asthma. Its success relies on collaborative efforts among schools, community agencies and leaders, and a planning process that considers virtually every factor that can influence its success.
Strategies for Addressing Asthma in Schools developed by the CDC and the National Center for Environmental Health Division of Environmental Hazards and Health Effects is a tool that addresses asthma related management in schools such as providing asthma education and linking students to medical care.
More Resources for school staff:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-Find information about healthy school environments
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-Learn about asthma and schools as well as read about success stories of state's with asthma-friendly schools
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)-Link to "Nurses: Partners in Asthma Care"
Healthy Schools Network-Learn about the Coalition for Healthier Schools
American Lung Association (ALA)-Learn about Healthy Air At School
American Association of School Administrators (AASA)-Find asthma resources for school leaders
National Asthma Educator Certification Board-Find an asthma educator or learn how you can become a certified asthma educator
Asthma Educator Institute-Those who qualify to take the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination, learn more about the American Lung Association's (ALA) 2-day prep course for the exam