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Management of Asthma Exacerbations: School Treatment Steps to Follow for an Asthma Episode in the School Setting When a Nurse is Not Available
Be prepared. Know which students have asthma and where their medicine is kept.
Be alert for students who may have asthma symptoms. Symptoms can become progressively worse and lead to severe, even life-threatening asthma attacks. Treating symptoms promptly can prevent this and allow the student to resume school activities.
Common symptoms of an asthma episode include one or more of these things: Coughing, wheezing (which can sound like noisy breathing or whistling in the chest), difficulty or discomfort when breathing, tightness in the chest (a sensation of heavy weight on the chest or chest pain), shortness of breath, and breathing hard and/or fast.
If a student has asthma symptoms or complaints and needs your assistance,* take these steps.
Call 911 if any of the following occur:
* Many students who carry their own medicine may be able to self-manage asthma episodes. They should follow the school protocol. Provide support as needed.
** Common asthma allergens and irritants include tobacco smoke, pollens, furry animals, cockroach droppings, dust mites, chalk dust, or strong odors (for example, from cleaning products, paints, or perfume).