Description: This article is about how asthma protecting program helps students who have asthma at school safe. It gives better support for students,teachers, peers, and parents.
This is Sean Him again from the Alberta asthma center with the University of Alberta with my colleague Maureen Douglas together. With our partners, we present a comprehensive solution to better support students with asthma.
Over sixty percent of children have poorly controlled asthma which impacts their ability to be active attending school perform academically and often requires visits to emergency.
The asthma sphere image depicts our ultimate goal to help students with asthma, be healthy and active, and achieve their academic goals through support from school family health care and community.
The proposed solution is a pathway for education and health, it’s called partners and respiratory education enriching students and schools or press. For short it was developed to go to where kids are the school and put in place measures that number one equip the kids to achieve asthma control and to equip those around them, teachers, administrators, parents, and peers.
The health team ensures that students with asthma can fully participate with no barriers, for the burden of teachers to be minimal, and for students to be able to optimize their academic.
Health potential training to every student with asthma is essential. This is best done in groups in the school setting organized by the school, and health team research suggests that schools undergo powerful educational and health impacts from using a school-based asthma approach.
The pathway is a flowchart which identifies all of the inquiries and actions necessary to support the student although presented in sequence as you’ll see, some of these steps may occur simultaneously or may be discretionary.
Enrollment is the time to ensure that the school knows which students have asthma. I have met teachers and school administrators who had no idea which of their students had asthma.
In one situation on a field trip, a student had a serious asthma attack, teachers had no idea about what they were dealing with, because they were not told about his asthma. Other schools reported being overwhelmed when they discovered 30 students with asthma instead of the two or three they anticipated.
The pathway identifies two roles at the enrollment stage the parents role and the administration’s role. First, the parents with asthma will come to school healthy and ready to learn because their asthma is being followed by their doctor and is in good control.
Parents need to be especially vigilant in September. With the September spike phenomena which widely recognizes that children with asthma visit emergency most in September possibly due to viral infections or a medication vacation from their controller over the holidays.
It’s the parents role to ensure that their child is following their written action plan and using prescribed medication.They are asked to provide information to the school about their child’s asthma on a form similar to this one. It asks about triggers symptoms medications and emergency contacts and for parents consent to a plan for worsening asthma.
Asthma varies among students and can change from no symptoms to those requiring an emergency is it symptoms usually develop over time, so it’s important to know what early signs to watch for and have written directions on what to do.
The administration’s role is closely connected to the parents schools communicate about their asthma practices and request the appropriate information and then ensure this is posted in areas accessible for staff and teachers.
Parents and school administration should agree on the location of quick relief inhaler medication, in particular it should be stored, so it is immediately accessible to the student. Ideally the inhaler is on the student and a second clearly labeled as a backup with the teacher.
I’ve heard stories of parents not telling their schools about their child’s asthma, because they were anxious about their child’s safety and ,concerned about the school’s policy to lock up medications in the office to ensure staff are comfortable supporting students with asthma.
The school should schedule a short asthma education session from a qualified health professional and provide resources. This can stimulate discussion about unmet asthma or lung health needs.
The school nurse, certified asthma educators, parents and other partners may be involved in this review.Resources are listed and inked and are below this pathway.Watch for part 2 where we talk more about this and the day-to-day management of asthma in schools. To check out the pathway goes to this website.