SLIDE 1: Asthma Basics for Schools: Part 1 - Overview
Developed by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP)
SLIDE 2: Asthma Basics for Schools--Presentation Overview
- The problem of asthma among school-age youth
- Causes, signs & symptoms
- Impact on learning
- Asthma triggers
- Control of Asthma
- How asthma-friendly is your school?
- How to handle an asthma episode
SLIDE 3: Asthma is a Major Health Problem in the U.S.
- 5 million school-aged children have asthma1
- Students miss almost 13 million school days each year due to asthma2
- Asthma is the 3rd-ranking cause of hospitalization among children under 153
- 1 Epidemiology and Statistics Unit. Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality. NYC: ALA, July 2006.
- 2 CDC. Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use and Mortality, 2003-2005. National Center for Health Statistics. Washington, DC.
- 3 Hall MJ & DeFrances CJ. 2001 National Hospital Discharge Survey. Advance data from Vital and Health Statistics, Table 3; no 332. Hyattsville, MD: NCHS,2003.
SLIDE 4: On average, a typical classroom of 30 students is likely to have 3 with asthma
Source: Epidemiology and Statistics Unit. Trends in Asthma Morbidity and Mortality. NYC: ALA, July 2006.
SLIDE 5: What is Asthma?
A condition that:
- is chronic
- produces recurring episodes of breathing problems
- is potentially life-threatening
- can occur at any age
- is not contagious
- cannot be cured, but can be controlled
SLIDE 6: What are the Symptoms of Asthma?
- Shortness of breath
- Tightness in the chest
- Waking at night with any of the above symptoms*
* a key marker of uncontrolled asthma
SLIDE 7: How Does Asthma that is not Well-Controlled Impact Student Learning?
- Fatigue - students up at night with coughing, wheezing and other symptoms are tired in the morning
- Absenteeism related to asthma episodes, health care appointments, and hospitalizations
- Missed class time due to frequent school health office visits
SLIDE 8: What Happens During an Episode of Asthma?
- The lining of the airways become narrow and easily irritated due to inflammation
- The airways produce a thick mucus
- The muscles around the airways tighten and make airways narrower
SLIDE 9: What Can Make Asthma Worse?
Not all factors affect all people. It's important to identify what affects a particular student's asthma.
- Infections in the upper airways, such as colds
- Changes in weather and temperature
- Physical expressions of strong feelings (crying or laughing hard, yelling)
SLIDE 10: What Can Make Asthma Worse?
Allergens such as:
- Furred and feathered animals
- Dust mites
- Pollens from grass and trees
- Molds (indoors and outdoors)
SLIDE 11: What Can Make Asthma Worse?
Irritants such as:
- Environmental tobacco smoke
- Outdoor air pollution
- Scented products
- Strong fumes or odors
SLIDE 12: Is There A Cure For Asthma?
Asthma cannot be cured, but it can be controlled.
Most young people with asthma should be able to live healthy, active lives with minimal symptoms.
SLIDE 13: What Should Most People with Asthma Be Able To Do?
- Be active without having asthma symptoms; this includes participating in physical activity and sports
- Sleep through the night without having asthma symptoms
- Prevent asthma episodes
- Have the best possible lung function (e.g., good peak flow number)
SLIDE 14: How Is Asthma Controlled?
- Follow an individualized, written asthma action plan
- Reduce or eliminate exposure to things that can cause asthma symptoms
- Encourage and support use of medication as prescribed
- Quick-relief medicine for all students with asthma
- Long-term control medicine for students with persistent asthma
SLIDE 15: How Is Asthma Controlled?
- Monitor response to treatment and level of asthma control
- Encourage regular follow-up care
- Ensure good communication among school, the student's doctor, and home
SLIDE 16: How asthma-friendly is your school?5
- Is your school free of tobacco smoke?
- May students carry their own asthma medicines?
- Does your school have an emergency plan for kids with severe asthma episode?
5 National Asthma Education and Prevention Program. How Asthma-Friendly Is Your School?
SLIDE 17: How asthma-friendly is your school?
- Do all students with asthma have written asthma action plans at school?
- Is there a school nurse in your school all day, everyday?
- Does someone teach school staff and all students about asthma?
SLIDE 18: How asthma-friendly is your school?
- Can students with asthma fully participate in physical activities?
- Do they have immediate access to their quick-relief medicine before exercise if appropriate?
- Can they modify their activities if necessary?
- Does your school maintain good indoor air quality? e.g., reduce or eliminate things that may cause asthma symptoms
SLIDE 19: How to Handle an Asthma Episode
- Quickly evaluate the situation. Call 911 if severe and contact parent/guardian.
- Encourage student to use quick-relief medicine if s/he self-carries or it is kept in the classroom.
- If medicine is not available, call for the school nurse.
SLIDE 20: Conclusion
Schools, families, and the community can work together to help students better manage their asthma.