What can teachers do!

How can teachers be a health care advocate for an asthmatic student?

Throughout the school year there is only one other person who spends as much time with your child and that’s the teacher. So why not let the teacher be the asthma healthcare advocate for your child? Teachers play an important role so let’s give them some tips to ensure they understand that important role.

  • Have access and be familiar with your student’s written action plans
  • Know asthma warning signs and how to respond to them
  • Reduce environmental triggers in the classroom
  • Chalk dust
  • Mold
  • Furry or feathered animals
  • Strong smells

Ensure that field trips and activities are planned in a way that allows students with asthma to fully participate.

Carry written action plans, emergency contact information on field trips.

  • Refer students with poorly controlled asthma to school nurse.
  • Lingering or persistent cough

Coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath with physical exertion in extreme temperatures

Low level of stamina during physical activity or reluctance to participate

  • Increase use of asthma medication
  • Lack of response to medications

Be prepared to respond to asthma related emergencies.

Never leave a child alone during an asthma attack.

  • Display poster for steps to managing an asthma attack at school in all classrooms
  • Assure that students with exercise induced asthma symptoms pre-medicate prior to physical education and participation in sports.
  • Encourage students with asthma to participate in all activities, but reassure them with alternative activities when needed.
  • Warm up and cool down time is helpful to students with asthma

Support Florida State Legislature Statute that allows students to carry their rescue inhaler with them for self medication with approval from parent and physician

 Sherika McClendon, BSH, RRT

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