Asthma education is one of the best tools parents have to manage a child’s asthma symptoms and promote a healthy school environment. The Healthy Schools Network website provides you with asthma education tools for working with your school and community to create greener, asthma-friendly environments. It also discusses how you and like-minded parents can promote a healthy school environment for all children. On the site, you can also find tip sheets and activities; review helpful questions to ask schools; and learn how to spot environmental problems on campus.
Steps You Can Take
Healthy Schools Network provides parents with a handful of activities they can implement to increase asthma awareness in schools and communities. Such activities include:
- Starting a local group that’s dedicated to eliminating common asthma triggers in schools, like bus idling, mold growth and poor indoor air quality.
- Starting a state group dedicated to making sure schools provide a healthy learning environment.
- Talking to your child’s school about green pest prevention methods, problems you notice with the campus (mold growth, roof leaks, dust or odd smells) and the use of chemicals in and around school buildings.
Another helpful resource is the American Lung Association’s Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative , which offers a planning toolkit based on asthma management activities that have been successfully used in schools throughout the country.
National Healthy Schools Day
The next National Healthy Schools Day is Tuesday, April 30, 2013. This day focuses on the positive steps your child’s school has taken toward promoting a healthy learning environment and teaches others about the importance of a clean, green school. National Healthy Schools Day is the perfect time for you to promote asthma education to school and district officials, teachers, students, faculty and community organizations.
One of the most helpful topics for parents with asthmatic children to teach others about relates to asthma triggers often found in schools. Triggers can include:
- Odors and scents
- Chemicals and pesticides
- Dander from animals (like classroom pets)
- Smoke and air pollution
- Illnesses like the flu or a cold
- Physical activity
- Exposure to allergens
Learn more about asthma triggers a child may encounter in a school from the Lungtropolis website.
Asthma education tools are an important resource for parents when managing a child’s asthma. Furthermore, awareness can help make asthma symptom management simpler for parents and children. It’s never too late to encourage your child’s school to be asthma-conscious.