Asthma

* 1 in 5 children have asthma.

* It is the #1 chronic disease of youth

* It is the #1 reason for missed school days.

* It is the #1 Reason for pediatric ER visits.

If your child requires emergency medication for asthma or bronchospasm please read below:

1) A “Physician’s Authorization for Medication at School” signed by the physician and parent or guardian is required. (Must be renewed each school year.) See attachment below.  Student may possess and self-administer the medication if the order specifies he/she can with medical doctor approval.  

2) An Emergency Action Plan will be completed with the school nurse, the parent or guardian, and the student and kept on file. This plan will be distributed to school staff on “a need to know” basis.

3) Backup asthma medication or anaphylactic reaction medication must be provided to the school and shall be kept at the student’s school in a location so that the student has immediate access in the event of an asthma or anaphylactic emergency.

4) The student will notify the school health office or main office if they are having any concerns with their health condition.

5) The student will agree to use their inhaler, equipment or anaphylactic reaction medication in a responsible manner, in accordance with their licensed health care provider’s orders.

6) The student will not allow any other person to use their inhaler, equipment or anaphylactic reaction medication.

If the student uses asthma medication prescribed or anaphylaxis medication in a manner other than as prescribed, the school may impose disciplinary action according to the school’s disciplinary policy, but may not limit or restrict the student’s immediate access to the asthma/anaphylaxis medication.

Medication must be picked up at the end of the school year or will be discarded, unless other arrangements are made. For additional information or questions, contact your school nurse.


For school personnel: 

WHAT IS ASTHMA?

Asthma is the chronic inflammation and partial blockage of the airways. It cannot be cured but can effectively be managed.

What causes it? The facts are not clear as to the reason one child has asthma and another doesn't. Children from families where there is a history of asthma are more likely to have it. Also, sensitivity to different environmental conditions seems to be a causal factor.

How it is treated? There are two typical forms of treatment. 1) Daily maintenance medications that help keep the airways from becoming inflamed. 2) Emergency or “rescue” medications that can be used to reduce the severity of an attack.

What does an asthma attack looks like? The first signs of an asthma episode may be shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing. The child appears to be breathing harder than normal. Many will stop what they are doing to rest, although becoming quiet does not necessarily reduce the breathlessness or stop the coughing or wheezing. If the episode is allowed to continue, the child will become lethargic and the breathing becomes more labored and the heart will beat rapidly.

What should one do in case of an asthma attack? Sit the child down and administer his/her rescue medicine. Allow 15-20 minutes for the medication to work.

Note: If the child has to go to the office to get the rescue medicine, have someone accompany him/her and notify parent/guardian.

If the child’s ability to breathe does not improve, CALL 911.

How can you reduce the likelihood of an asthma attack? Make sure you know what triggers your student’s asthma. For example, exercise triggers asthma in some children. Pet dander, dust, and mold are other triggers. Help your student by not having live animals in the classroom and keeping the environment as clean as possible. Avoid using strong perfumes, lotions, etc.

ASTHMA LAW: - G.S. 115C - 375.2. This law requires local school boards to adopt policies permitting students with asthma or students subject to anaphylactic reactions, or both, to possess and self-administer asthma medication, and to recodify certain statues to create a new Article 26A in Chapter 115C of the General Statues.