For every classroom in Michigan with 30 children in it, two may have asthma. This chronic disease causes unnecessary restriction of childhood activities, and is a leading cause of school absenteeism. Asthma can be controlled, though, and with proper treatment and support, children with asthma can lead fully active lives.
Among children 0–17 years old in the United States in 2012:
- 14.0% (10.3 million) had been told by a health professional at some point in their lives that they had asthma.
- 9.3% (6.8 million) were reported to currently have asthma.
- Among those with asthma, 55.2% (3.8 million) had an asthma attack in the last 12 months.
Among Michigan students in grades 9-12 in 2013:
- 10.7% of students reported currently having asthma.
- Students who were overweight were more likely to report having asthma than underweight or normal weight students.
- 11.8% of females and 9.5% of males reported currently having asthma.
Schools can do their part to control asthma by becoming more "asthma-friendly," i.e., adopting policies and procedures, and coordinating student services to better serve students with asthma.
Asthma in Schools – Tools & Resources
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- School-based Asthma Management Program (SAMPRO™) and Toolkit
The goal of SAMPRO™ is to improve health and school-related outcomes for children with asthma, using school-based partnerships that focus on integrated care coordination amongst families, clinicians and school nurses. SAMPRO™ advocates four components to integrate schools, and specifically school nurses, within the asthma care team: 1) The creation of a Circle of Support amongst the families, clinicians and schools nurses centered around the child with asthma; 2) The creation and transmission of Asthma Management Plans to schools, 3) A comprehensive Asthma Education Plan for school personnel; and 4) A comprehensive Environmental Asthma Plan to assess and remediate asthma triggers at home and in school.
- Healthy School Assessment Tool (HSAT)
The HSAT is an online assessment to help your school determine ways to create a healthier school environment. If you represent a Michigan school and want to determine what you can do to
improve your school's health, visit the HSAT website and find out how to complete the assessment.
Friendly Schools Initiative (American Lung Association)
The Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative Toolkit is a planning tool based on real-life activities that have been used in schools throughout the United States to create comprehensive asthma management systems.
- AIM School Packet Project
Health information kits titled "Never Judge a Book by Its Cover, and Other Important Lessons About Asthma" were developed to disseminate accurate asthma information to Michigan schools. The packets are tailored to specific school staff. Click on the links below to find out how very serious asthma can be to a student.
- NHLBI Managing Asthma: A guide for schools
With this guide, you can put a simple-to-follow asthma-friendly program in place in your school. You will be able to brief teachers, coaches, guidance counselors, school nurses, and even the principal on their special role in making your school asthma-friendly.
- Tools for Schools
The Tools for Schools Action Kit provides best practices, industry guidelines, sample policies and a sample IAQ management plan to improve school air at little or no cost.
- Clean School Bus USA
Clean School Bus USA brings together partners from business, education, transportation, and public-health organizations to work toward encouraging policies and practices to: 1) eliminate unnecessary public school bus idling, 2) upgrading ("retrofitting") buses that will remain in the fleet with better emission-control technologies and/or fueling them with cleaner fuels, and 3) replacing the oldest buses in the fleet with new, less-polluting buses.
- Michigan School Inhaler Law
Legislation allowing Michigan public and nonpublic school children, under certain conditions, to carry and self administer prescribed asthma and allergy medications on school grounds and during school sponsored activities was amended to the Michigan School Code in 2000 and 2004.This ensures that students with asthma and allergies have immediate access to life-saving medications.
- School "Epi-pen" Law
Starting with the 2014-2015 school year, each Michigan public and nonpublic school must have two auto-injectable epinephrine (AIE) devices, commonly known as "epi-pens," on hand. This legislation amended the Michigan School Code and Public Health Code to make sure students and staff members with severe allergic reactions have quick access to life-saving medications. This law:
- requires each school board to make and use policies around this law, based on updated medication administration guidelines from the Department of Education and others
- requires each school board to try to get funds for the AIEs from an outside source before applying to the Department of Education for unfunded costs
- allows a doctor to prescribe AIEs to a school board, and a pharmacist to fill that prescription
- requires each school to have at least 2 employees trained to use AIEs safely and appropriately in allergy emergencies
- addresses liability concerns for the school and those who prescribe or administer this medication in good-faith
The posters above are available for download. Click on the image to view and save a PDF copy.
See all 13 of CDC's messages using the arrows at the bottom of the picture.