School Nurses and Education Professionals
In response to many requests made by school nurses for more information about asthma, we have developed the Asthma Guidelines for Schools. This document is meant to be used as a guide for developing practices and policies that will help the school nurse and health office staff implement "best practice" care for schools. Quest for the Code is an online interactive game that helps children learn how to manage their asthma.
Asthma School Presentation
The School Health Committee of the Arizona Asthma Coalition has created a slide presentation for school nurses to use with teachers, coaches, administrators and other school personnel. The purpose of the presentation is to highlight basic asthma information for non-clinical staff. It is important for all school personnel to be knowledgeable about asthma, so in the event that a student has an asthma episode or emergency, the staff will know what steps to take. AAC Asthma School Presentation
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
School Nurse Asthma Tool Kit
The School Nurse’s Tool Kit contains some key points and new information about asthma. It is not intended to be comprehensive and it does not cover all aspects of asthma care and management. In addition to the information contained in the School Nurse’s Tool Kit, we have added several links to asthma action plans. There are many asthma action plans available, but we have given you a few to choose from, in both English and Spanish. Other resources will be added to the web site, so check to see what new tools are available.
School Nurse Letter
Dear School Nurse,
Asthma is the most common chronic childhood disease in the United States. Asthma affects nearly one in thirteen school-aged children and at least 5 million children in America have asthma. However, asthma is controllable and with proper treatment and support, children can lead normal lives. Why should schools be concerned about asthma? Although most asthma episodes can be prevented with proper treatment and communication between parents and school staff, asthma can be life threatening. An episode can come on suddenly requiring the student and staff to respond quickly to a life-threatening emergency. This raises several questions about your school’s level of preparedness to handle such an emergency.
In 2005, Arizona passed two laws related to the rights of school-aged children with asthma. If your school district has not updated its policies, then this is a golden opportunity for you, the school nurse, to step up and take the lead in offering your expertise to implement the policy. Here are some essential components of as school asthma policy that complement these laws:
Asthma Rescue Medication, AZ Statute 15-341.36
HB 2229 Asthma Rescue Medication Bill - Signed 4/11/05
Allows for a pupil who has written parental consent to possess and self-administer handheld inhaler devices for breathing disorders and establishes an exemption from civil liability for school districts and employees who, in good faith, make decisions or take actions to implement these provisions.
SB 1309 Signed 5/11/05 requires school districts to adopt and enforce policies and procedures to allow pupils who have been diagnosed with anaphylaxis to carry and self-administer emergency medications while at school and school-sponsored activities. Additionally, school districts and employees are immune from civil liability for all decisions made and actions taken in good faith to implement these provisions.
Pupils With Anaphylaxis Carry and Self-Administer Emergency Medications, AZ Statute 15-341-.35(a
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) instituted a voluntary program in 2004, asking school districts to ban school bus idling near the school building. Diesel emissions from school buses are harmful to everyone, but especially bad for children with asthma. One hundred fifty eight school districts and over 1,000 schools have joined the "No Idling Initiative for Schools." The program instructs drivers to turn off buses when reaching a school and not turn on the the engine until the vehicle is ready to depart. Buses should be parked at least 100 feet from a school air intake system. http://www.azdeq.gov/ceh/bus.hyml
ADEQ's Air Quality Flag Program now has more than fifty participating schools. The program uses colored flags to alert students, teachers and parents about risks from dust and airborne particulates on high pollution days. Schools receive a daily air quality forecast from ADEQ's staff meteorologists with instructions to fly one of four flags: green for good air quality, yellow for moderate, orange for unhealthy for sensitive groups and red for unhealthy for everyone. With the flag flying, parents of students with asthma or other breathing ailments know what to expect and teachers can take precautions to protect students on bad-air days. http://www.azdeq.gov/ceh/flag.html
How Asthma Friendly is Your School?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a variety of Tools For Schools. Parents and school staff will find resources that are useful for determining how well their school accomodates children with asthma. Also provided are suggestions for making school policies and practices friendlier.
IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit shows schools how to carry out a practical plan to improve indoor air problems at little or no cost, using straightforward activities and in-house staff. The Kit provides:
Core Asthma Policy Standards for Schools from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Management of Asthma Exacerbations: School Treatment Steps to Follow for an Asthma Episode in the School Setting When a Nurse is Not Avaialble
Ideally a school nurse is available for emergency care at all times and would use a nursing protocol. This Suggested Emergency Nursing Protocol can be used by state or district school health services directors or coordinators along with local asthma care providers and emergency care providers as a framework for the development of a local standard protocol that is written for appropriately trained staff who will be responsible for implementing the protocol in local schools. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/sch-emer-protocol.htm
The Steps to Follow for an Asthma Episode in the School Setting can be used by state or districts school health services directors or coordinators along with local asthma care providers and emergency care providers as a framework for the development of a local standard protocol that is written for appropriate staff in local schools. The Steps to Follow are designed for non-nursing staff such as classroom teachers. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/prof/lung/asthma/sch-emer-nonurse.htm
Steps to Follow for an Asthma Episode in the School Setting Poster Version may be used as a summary poster that can be displayed in classrooms and other sites where non-nursing school staff may need to assist students with asthma. http://nhlbi.nih.gov/files/doc/resorces/lung/no-nurse_p.pdf
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