During an asthma attack, time is of the essence. A student’s Asthma Action Plan should be readily available and easy to read. There are many variations, so be sure to familiarize yourself and other relevant staff with each student’s Asthma Action Plan.
Require a copy of the physician’s prescribed Asthma Action Plan (AAP) from the families of each student with asthma. The AAP should include the student’s asthma triggers, medication, emergency contact information and procedures to follow in the event of an asthma attack.
Record any complaints of asthma symptoms in the student’s file.
Describe the symptoms, the student’s behaviors, where the student was when symptoms began, what medicine was given, and what caused the attack, if known.
Indiana state law allows students with a chronic disease, such as asthma, to carry their medication at school.
Keep accurate and current records of written authorization forms for self-administered medication from parents/guardians. Be sure to update records on an annual basis.
The Indiana Chronic Disease Management website has a printable form that can be used: Permission to Carry Asthma Medications to School Contract .
Communicate with the families and physicians of students with asthma about concerns, such as identified environmental asthma triggers and avoidance of the student’s asthma triggers.
Report any observed asthma symptoms to families on the same day the child’s symptoms occurred.
Confer with teachers, maintenance personnel and/or administrators about reducing identified environmental triggers throughout the school.
Provide information to teachers and administrators on asthma and its potential effect on the child’s health, safety, and learning.
For further information about asthma visit the Indiana Chronic Disease Management Web site.
Children can be allergic to ANY medication and it cause anaphylaxis, a systemic reaction, with asthma like symptoms. Children with asthma can become sensitive to aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Sensitivity to these drugs may cause an asthma attack.
Children with asthma sensitive to these drugs should avoid aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, naproxen and ketoprofen as these drugs may cause an asthma attack. Sensitivity to these drugs increases with age and asthma severity
Children with asthma should also avoid NON-SELECTIVE Beta-adrenergic blockers. Non-selective beta-adrenergic blockers block the receptor sites in the lungs that quick-relievers (such as albuterol) need to act on, so that the reliever medication won’t work.
The nurses’ office can be a busy place, with sick children looking for comfort. Due to the increased number of sick children in one location, the air exchange needs to be at a greater rate to aid in cleansing the air of germs, strong odors, and irritants.
Be sure the ventilation system is providing enough air flow (25 cubic feet per minute) and return. increase when needed. Refer to EPA’s Tools For Schools Ventilation Checklist for how to measure air flow.
Do not block air vents.
Discourage teachers from wearing strong perfumes and colognes when they have students with asthma in their classes.