The American Lung Association reports that asthma is the top reason for missed school days. In 2008, an estimated 14.4 million children in the United States experienced a school absence because of their asthma symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control. One of the best ways teachers, parents and caregivers can help children control their allergy/asthma symptom is to become familiar with asthma education resources and put the tips into practice.
Teachers and School Personnel
School personnel can help address asthma management by providing asthma resources and education; tailoring school health services to incorporate the needs of asthmatics; encouraging kids with asthma to be active when they’re able; and providing a healthy school environment. While it’s important for teachers to have knowledge about asthma, the health office should also be prepared for asthma emergencies. Furthermore, teaching kids about asthma self-management, like through the Open Airways for Schools Program , can help them maintain better control over their allergy/asthma symptoms so they can focus on learning.
Parents and Caregivers
Knowledge is one of the best tools for parents and caregivers of asthmatic children. Asthma resources provided by schools and physicians can help you learn about a child’s environmental triggers, recognize the signs of distress and know what to do when there’s an asthma emergency. Teaching children about their asthma and how to control their symptoms can also go a long way toward reducing school absences. Teaching tools can include the online learning game “Lungtropolis” as well as make-believe asthma scenarios. Because children aren’t always at home, it’s important to provide your community with asthma education resources to help family, friends, babysitters and neighbors know what to do if your child experiences related complications.
Control of asthma symptoms must be an ongoing effort, not just an issue that’s addressed when a child is in distress. By using the resources recommended by the American Lung Association , you can make a positive impact on school absenteeism rates.