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Asthma and School

Does it feel like you're different from everybody else because you have asthma? Does it seem like asthma is making your life awful? If you need ideas about how to make life with asthma work for you, read on. You may also want to visit the FAQs page to learn the answers to other teens' questions.

Tell your friends, teachers and other people you're with that you have asthma.

You're afraid they'll treat you differently. Tell everybody. On the other hand, it will be a lot less embarrassing to use your inhaler in front of them if they know all about your asthma. And telling them can help you in other ways. It will make it easier on both of you if you have an attack. It will keep them from getting scared, and might save you a trip to the hospital.

  • If your friends who know treat you differently or make fun of you for having asthma, they aren't your true friends. With asthma as common as it is, finding friends who accept you the way you are shouldn't be too hard.
  • Telling your teachers, coaches and school nurse is really important. Your parents can help with this. The school nurse needs to know what medications you take during school, even if you carry them with you. Your parents will need to sign medication forms and meet with all of the adults you spend time with to make sure that they know what to do for your asthma.
  • Your school doesn’t have a nurse? You and a parent can talk to the principal, and ask your doctor or asthma educator for ideas about how asthma problems at school can be handled.
  • Give your school and coaches copies of your Asthma Action Plan so that they know what to do to help you.
  • If a few of the people in your life still don't understand about your asthma, see if you can put together a meeting between them, you, your parents and your doctor or the school nurse to work it out.

Out and about with asthma

You can control your asthma AND have a normal, active life – it usually just takes some planning ahead.

  • Always take your quick-relief medicine with you when you go out, just in case.
  • Think about the triggers you might meet up with. For example:
    • Before you go out together, you might need to ask a friend not to wear perfume.
    • You may need to tell your friends that cigarette and other smokes can trigger your asthma. Ask them to give it up, at least around you.

If it's embarrassing, try telling them that you're "sensitive" to certain things. Using an inhaler is a lot less embarrassing than having a severe asthma attack and being rushed to the hospital!

Sports, other activities and asthma

You can also be a part of and do well at sports and other activities, even if you have asthma. Read more about sports, other activities and asthma.

You should be able to do almost anything you want to do without asthma stopping you. If there is something you want to do, and you have, or think you might have, asthma symptoms while doing it, talk to your doctor or asthma educator. They can help find ways of taking care of your asthma so that it doesn't control your life.

You CAN carry your inhaler at school – it's the law in Michigan.

It may not be very well known, but it's true. In 2000, Michigan legislators made a law that allows kids with asthma to carry their inhalers with them at school with permission from their parents and doctor. If your school is not aware of this policy change, learn more about the law, and download a copy.