Asthma can significantly disrupt the education process when 14 million school days are lost annually due to asthma. According to a national survey of school nurses, asthma is more disruptive of school routines than any other chronic condition, has a significant impact on absenteeism and many school staff may lack awareness of the causes of an asthma attack. More than 1/3rd of the nurses said they had to respond to an acute asthma attack at least 11 times in the last school year. In Long Beach approximately 1 in 8 children have been diagnosed with asthma.
Improving Asthma Management at School:
Improved communications between parents, school nurses and health care professionals and effective school asthma management can help reduce the number of asthma attacks children experience each year. According to the American Lung Association, effective school management includes:
- Keeping children with asthma away from potential triggers, such as mold, dust, chemicals, strong odors or furry or feathered animals;
- Ensuring children take their medication as prescribed by their physician;
- Guaranteeing easy access to medication in case of an asthma attack; and
- Allowing children to use their medications prior to exercise to prevent breathing problems associated with exercise-induced asthma.
LBACA and the American Lung Association of LA County have several FREE programs and services available to schools in LBUSD and LAUSD to help reduce asthma attacks, school absenteeism due to asthma and improve asthma management at school. These include:
School Nurse Luncheons:
Provides asthma recognition, management and medication delivery training. Contact us to schedule a luncheon.
Open Airways for Schools:
Asthma management program for schools that educates students, parents and school staff with asthma. For more information contact: Katie Van Cleave at email@example.com
Tools for Schools:
Environmental management program for schools that prevents and remedies indoor air quality problems.
Air Quality Flags:
In one of the school focus groups school staff suggested that we develop an ” air quality flag” to be raised at schools on poor air quality days so that all teachers and students are aware of hazardous air quality days and are able to adjust physical activities accordingly. Planet Asthma is an Orange flag (icon below), signifying the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index category “Unhealthy for Sensitive Individuals,” will be provided to schools and will be raise on ‘Orange’ or ‘Red’ air quality days, or days with air quality index values of 101 or above. (see a description of the EPA’s Air Quality Index) Contact us for more information.