Reduce School Environment Asthma Triggers

When asthma is well controlled, students are ready to learn. Effectively managing a child’s asthma is best accomplished through a comprehensive plan that addresses both the medical management of the disease and the avoidance of environmental triggers.

Classrooms often adopt animals as classroom pets or science projects. Any warm-blooded animals, including gerbils, birds, cats, dogs, mice and rats, may trigger asthma. Proteins, which act as allergens in the dander, urine or saliva of warm-blooded animals, can cause allergic reactions or trigger asthma episodes in people sensitive to animal allergens.

The most common sources of animal allergens in schools are in the air and on the clothing of staff and children who handle pets. If an animal is present in the school, there is a possibility of direct, daily exposure to the animal’s dander and bodily fluids. It is important to realize that, even after extensive cleaning, pet allergens may stay in the indoor environment for several months after the animal is removed. In addition, animal allergens can readily migrate to other areas of the school environment through the air and on the clothing of staff and children who handle pets.

Ask your child’s teacher to discuss any classroom animals with you before exposing your child. The most effective method to control exposure to animal allergens in schools is to keep your school free of warm-blooded animals.

Stay tuned and check back often as we bring you more ways to reduce and or avoid environmental asthma triggers.

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