Working With Your Child's School

In order to keep your child's asthma under control at school, parents need to prepare themselves, their child and school staff. Here's what you MUST do before school starts:

  1. Make a written Asthma Action Plan with your doctor or asthma educator, and give a copy to your child's school.
  2. Make sure the school has emergency numbers to reach you.
  3. Schedule a conference with your child's teacher to talk about your child's asthma.

By working with school staff year round, you can make sure your child has a healthy school year.

During the summer

  • Visit your child's doctor or health care professional, and fill out a new asthma action plan. Give a copy to each of the child's teachers, school nurse, school secretary and after school activity staff. While you are there, be sure to talk about your child's:
    • technique with peak flow meter, inhaler and spacer
    • asthma triggers, especially those that the child might have at school, like exercise, animals, food allergies or cold weather
    • medications and peak flow meter use at school
  • Get all medication/health forms from the school – don't forget the ones for sports or other activities
  • Do a school visit, check for:
    • cockroaches
    • dust mite sources (often found in humid places and in pillows, carpets, upholstery and stuffed toys)
    • mold
    • a smoke-free school, including during school-sponsored events

If you are concerned about any of the above, talk to the school staff about getting the problems fixed before school starts.

Just before school starts

  • Fill out all school, activity, medication and health forms
  • Check to see if all inhalers are full and in working order
  • If your child uses a nebulizer, make sure all of its parts are clean.
  • Label all medications and asthma tools with child's name and classroom
  • Arrange a meeting with child's teacher and other school staff, include the child in the meeting if possible
  • Arrange a meeting with child's after school day care teachers, if needed

At the meeting with the school/daycare staff, discuss

  • Basics of asthma and allergies
  • Warning signs for your child's asthma episodes
  • Triggers, such as animals in the classroom, cold air at recess, and strong odors
  • Your child's Asthma Action Plan
  • Your child's Emergency Plan, make sure staff knows what to do and how to do it
  • Medications and access to medications. There is a law in Michigan that allows students to carry their inhalers with them at all times.
  • Asthma tools, such as peak flow meters, spacers, and nebulizers
  • Emotional aspects of your child's asthma
  • Gym class and other times they play hard
  • Missing school and making up school work
  • Any other things parents and people caring for your child can do to help the teacher/staff

During the school year

  • Be sure to check often with teacher and other staff to make sure they are not having problems following the asthma management or action plan – if the plan changes, be sure to give the school staff a new one, and review changes with them
  • Make sure there are enough medication supplies – use weekends and school vacations to clean or replace valved-holding chambers/spacers and peak flow meters, and check inhalers