According to the American Lung Association, asthma is one of the main reasons that students miss school due to illness.

For nearly 7 million children living with asthma, gearing up for another school year involves much more than picking out a new pencil case and backpack.

Asthma is one of the main reasons that students miss school due to illness. All told, asthma causes more than 10 million lost school days every year. Parents, schools and health care providers can all play an active role to ensure that children with asthma can be healthy, safe, and ready to learn.

The American Lung Association has several tools and resources not only for parents, but also for school nurses other school personnel. Help create a community of support for children with asthma by using and sharing these free educational tools and resources.

Asthma Basics is our free online course that offers an overview of asthma management that is helpful for teachers, coaches, school nurses and parents. In this self-paced learning module, participants learn about asthma triggers, symptoms, steps to prevent an asthma episode and the actions to take to respond to a breathing emergency. Participants get access to a number of resources including an asthma action plan and medication demonstration videos.

Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative is a comprehensive approach to asthma management that aligns with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Coordinated School Health model. This step-by-step guide includes best practices and template policies to create a safe and healthy learning environment. Parents can work with schools to ensure that asthma-friendly policies and practices are in place giving students with asthma the best chance for a successful school year.

We recommend that schools provide access to back-up quick-relief medication for students with asthma. By improving access to life-saving medication during the school day, schools can prevent a medical emergency. Our Stock Bronchodilator Model Policy is available for school districts.

Surveys have shown that some school personnel believe that elementary-aged children are not developmentally ready to carry their own asthma medication, in spite of research to the contrary. Through the Student Readiness Assessment Tool, we can empower students and increase confidence in their school nurses that students are able to self-carry their quick-relief inhalers during the school day and prevent emergencies.

The American Lung Association is committed to providing up-to-date information and resources to help keep children with asthma active and healthy. Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy school year.

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