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Asthma at School

Parents | Teachers | Health Professionals

Teachers play an important role in identifying the child with early warning signs of poor asthma control. Managing asthma appropriately will allow children with asthma to fully participate in school.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease affecting more than 12% of children. This means that in a classroom of thirty, at least three children will have asthma. Of those children with poor asthma control, 73% report that they limit their physical activity because of their asthma symptoms. When asthma is totally controlled children can participate in physical activity.

There is also a lack of recognition by parents, children and school teachers of the early signs of asthma deterioration. This lack of recognition sometimes delays the preventive measures needed to avoid an acute and serious attack.

The answer to these issues is education. The Asthma Society of Canada is providing tools to help teachers monitor, identify the child with early warning signs and symptoms of poor asthma control and how to best communicate this to parents. We have provided the following information to assist you in communicating to parents of children with asthma.

To learn more about asthma signs and symptoms, visit our About Asthma section.

Teachers Resources Index:

Medication Tracking Form
This form will help teachers to record each time a student needs to use his/her blue inhaler for relief of asthma symptoms.

Download the Medication Tracking Form.

Ophea/PHSAP's Asthma Resources (Download only)

NEW! Asthma Plan of Action Series.

Letter to Parents
This letter is designed to assist teachers in communicating their observations of classroom behaviour that may indicate deteriorating asthma control, to parents.
[English] [French]

Other Resources & Links

  • How Asthma-Friendly Is Your School? This list of seven questions by the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute can help you determine how well equipped your school is to manage students with asthma. Available in both English and Spanish.
  • Managing Asthma in the School Environment. From the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Tools for Schools program, this site includes 10 Ways to Manage Asthma, an asthma education and management plan for schools, and other resources.

Best Practices for Managing Asthma in Schools:

  • Strategies for Addressing Asthma Within a Coordinated School Health Program (US). Developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in coordination with with school health and school asthma experts, the six strategies and additional action items provide best practices guidance for schools and school districts. This program offers concrete suggestions for schools working to improve the health and school attendance of children with asthma and can be effective whether your program is for the entire school district or just one school.
  • Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools. The U.S. National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) have published an updated version of this guide that is intended to assist schools that are planning and/or maintaining an asthma management program.

Curriculum Design Resources:

  • Healthy Schools Resource Guide. The aim of the Healthy Schools Initiative is to actively involve students in learning and practising skills for decision-making for health. Through a five-step process, students are involved in creating action plans that will make their school a healthier place. These plans are developed by students for students, with the help of teachers, administrators, parents, school nurses, and other school members. This resource was developed by the British Columbia Ministry for Children and Families.
  • Asthma Awareness Curriculum for the Elementary Classroom. This downloadable program, also from the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute, makes it easy for the elementary school teacher to integrate an asthma lesson into your regular curriculum on body systems. The lessons in the Asthma Awareness Curriculum are easily integrated into a comprehensive health education curriculum and/or into science as it relates to body systems and the environment.

For more general asthma resources and links, visit our Related Links section.

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Asthma Basics Booklet Series

We developed the Asthma Basics Steps to help you learn about good asthma control. Use these booklets to learn more about asthma diagnosis, triggers and medications, as well to guide your discussions with you doctor, pharmacist and asthma educator.

More > >

Poster: Breathe

English | French

Poster: Asthma Signs & Symptoms

English | French

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DISCLAIMER: Content on this website is for information purposes only andnot a substitute for a qualified medical professional.
For specific information treatment and management your asthma and/or potential side effects of medications and
treatment, please consult your physician.