asthma by chenshu


									United States              Indoor Environments           EPA 402-K-00-003
Environmental Protection   Division (6609J)              April 2000
Agency                     Office of Air and Radiation

                       IAQ Tools for Schools
                           Managing Asthma in the
                            School Environment
     10 Ways to Manage Asthma in the School Environment

1.    Use the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit      7.    Develop an Asthma Management Plan in
                                                   Your School
      ■ Help people with asthma by
        improving the school environment           ■ Include school policies on
        with IAQ practices recommended               inhaler and other medication
        in this kit.                                 usage, and emergency proce-
                                                     dures for school staff for use
2.    Control Animal Allergens                       when a student has an asthma
      ■ Remove classroom animals from
        the school, if possible.                   ■ Obtain the National Asthma

      ■ If not, locate animals away from
                                                     Education and Prevention
        sensitive students and ventilation           Program’s Managing Asthma: A
        systems.                                     Guide for Schools.

3.    Control Cockroach Allergens            8.    Provide School-Based Asthma
                                                   Education Programs
      ■ Use Integrated Pest Management
        practices to prevent cockroach             ■ Contact your local American

        and other pest problems (e.g.,               Lung Association about Open
        store food in tightly sealed con-            Airways For Schools, a school-
        tainers and place dumpsters                  based asthma management pro-
        away from the building).                     gram for students with asthma.

4.    Clean Up Mold and Control Moisture     9.    File Student Asthma Action Cards

      ■ Fix moisture problems and thor-            ■ Make sure students with asthma
        oughly dry wet areas within 24-48            obtain and turn in copies of their
        hours to prevent mold growth.                Asthma and Allergy Foundation
                                                     of America action cards to
      ■ Clean up hard, moldy surfaces                teachers, school nurse, etc.
        with water and detergent, then
        dry thoroughly.                            ■ Encourage students to find out
                                                     and identify their asthma triggers.
5.    Eliminate Secondhand Smoke Exposure
      ■ Enforce no-smoking policies in
                                             10. Gather Additional Asthma Information
                                                   and Resources
        the school.
                                                   ■ Establish a complete file on
6.    Reduce Dust Mite Exposure                      existing asthma and allergy-
                                                     related information sources
      ■ Make sure the school is dusted
                                                     to reference throughout the
        and vacuumed thoroughly
                                                     school year.
        and regularly.
The Asthma Epidemic

Asthma has reached epidemic propor-             coughing. These symptoms can be at
tions in the United States affecting            least partially reversed, either sponta-
about 20 million people of all ages and         neously or with treatment. The
races, particularly children. Nearly one        inflammation also causes the airways of
in 13 school-aged children has asthma,          the lung to become especially sensitive
and the percentage of children with             to a variety of asthma triggers. In addi-
asthma is rising more rapidly in                tion, the particular trigger or triggers and
preschool-aged children than in any             the severity of symptoms can differ for
other age group. Asthma is the leading          each person with asthma.
cause of school absenteeism due to a
chronic illness, accounting for over 14         Since Americans spend up to 90% of
million missed school days per year.            their time indoors, exposure to indoor
Asthma also accounts for many nights            allergens and irritants may play a signifi-
of interrupted sleep, limitation of activity,   cant role in triggering asthma episodes.
and disruption of family and care-giver         Some of the most common asthma
routines. Asthma symptoms which are             triggers found indoors include:
not severe enough to require a visit to
an emergency room or to a physician                  ■ animal dander
can still be serious enough to prevent a             ■ cockroaches
child with asthma from living a fully                ■ mold
active life.                                         ■ secondhand smoke
                                                     ■ dust mites
Asthma is a long-term, inflammatory
disease in which the airways of the lung        Other asthma triggers include: respira-
tighten and constrict causing wheezing,         tory infections, pollens (trees, grasses,
breathlessness, chest tightness, and            weeds), outdoor air pollution, food aller-

    Asthma in Schools

     gies, exercise, and cold air exposure.

     Each day, one in five Americans occu-
     pies a school building and the majority
     of these occupants are children.
     Environmental asthma triggers com-
     monly found in school buildings are
     cockroaches and other pests, mold
     resulting from excess moisture in the
     building, and dander from animals in
     the classroom. Secondhand smoke
     and dust mites are other known envi-
     ronmental asthma triggers found in
     schools. In addition, some literature
     suggests children with asthma may be
     affected by other pollutants found in
     schools from such sources as unvented
     stoves or heaters and common prod-
     ucts such as cleaning agents,
     perfumes, and sprays.

     Effectively managing a child’s asthma
     can best be accomplished through a
     comprehensive plan that addresses
     both the medical management of the
     disease and avoidance of environmen-
     tal triggers. Since children spend most
     of their time in schools, day care facili-
     ties, or at home, it is important to
     reduce their exposure to environmental
     asthma triggers as much as possible in
     each of these environments. This pub-
     lication focuses on steps that schools
     can take to help children breathe easier.

                                                                                               IAQ Tools for Schools
Use the Indoor Air Quality
Tools for Schools Action Kit
Many indoor air quality problems in          Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
schools can impact the health of stu-        developed the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
dents and staff, including those with        Tools for Schools Action Kit. This kit
asthma. Some of the indoor air quality       helps school personnel identify, solve,
                                             and prevent indoor air quality problems
                                             in the school environment. Through the
                                             use of a 19-step management plan and
                                             checklists for the entire building,
                                             schools can also lower their students’
                                             and staff’s risk of exposure to asthma
                                             triggers. The checklists cover the build-
                                             ing’s ventilation system, maintenance
                                             procedures, classrooms (especially ani-
                                             mals and mold), and food service areas.

                                             Included in the kit is a Coordinator’s
                                             Guide, which explains the fundamentals
                                             of indoor air quality in schools and pro-
                                             cedures for improving the air inside the
                                             schools. The kit also contains check-
problems include: chemical pollutants        lists, a background informational piece
from building or building maintenance        for staff, a problem-solving wheel to
materials; chemical pollutants from          identify potential indoor air quality caus-
science and art classes; improperly          es and solutions, a guide for health
maintained ventilation systems; and          professionals, and a 30-minute, two-
allergens from classroom animals and         part video covering the ventilation
cockroaches or pests. Mold growth            checklist and a school’s implementation
may result from standing water in main-      of IAQ Tools for Schools.
tenance rooms and near piping, or from
excess moisture in ceiling tiles, carpets,   To use the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit,
and other furnishings. Also, outdoor air     most schools form an IAQ coordinating
pollutants and pollens may enter the         team which implements the kit during
school through ventilation systems           the school year. Because IAQ problems
and/or open doors and windows.               can originate anywhere in the school
                                             building, usually the entire staff is
In order to help improve indoor air          informed and brought into the process
quality problems in school buildings, the    of improving the indoor air. In addition,

                                                                   IAQ Tools for Schools   3
    students can be involved in the process.     at no cost simply by faxing a request on
    Information about available curricula on     school or company letterhead to IAQ
    indoor air quality can be found on EPA’s     INFO at 703-356-5386. For more infor-
    web site (          mation, please call IAQ INFO at
                                                 1-800-438-4318. The entire IAQ Tools
    School districts across the United           for Schools Kit can be downloaded from
    States have adopted IAQ Tools for            EPA’s website (
    Schools, thus improving the air quality in
    all of the districts’ buildings. The IAQ
    Tools for Schools Kit can be used alone
    or in conjunction with the American
    Lung Association’s Open Airways For
    Schools asthma curriculum for eight to
    11-year old children (see information
    included in this publication on Asthma
    Management and Education).

    EPA has developed additional tools
    and programs to help schools and
    school districts implement the IAQ
    Tools for Schools Kit. This
    includes a step-by-step guide to
    successfully implementing the
    IAQ Tools for Schools Kit. This
    quick-start guide will help you
    gain a valuable understanding
    of the IAQ Tools for Schools
    program and provide you
    with a brief review of the kit,
    helpful implementation
    ideas, and case studies of
    several schools that have
    successfully implemented
    the kit.

    Schools (or school districts) and
    non-profit groups may receive a
    copy of the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit

4     IAQ Tools for Schools
Control Animal Allergens

Classes may commonly adopt animals           animals in localized areas; keeping ani-
as a classroom pet or science project.       mals away from upholstered furniture,
School staff may not realize that any        carpets, and stuffed toys; and keeping
warm-blooded animals including gerbils,      sensitive individuals away from animals
birds, cats, dogs, mice, and rats may        as much as possible.

                                                                                                Asthma Triggers
trigger asthma. Proteins which act as
allergens in the dander, urine, or saliva    For schools with animals, it is important
of warm-blooded animals may sensitize        to make sure that classrooms contain-
individuals and can cause allergic reac-     ing animals are frequently and
tions or trigger asthma episodes in          thoroughly cleaned. In addition, animal
people sensitive to animal allergens.        allergens can readily migrate to other
                                             areas of the school environment through
Common Sources Found in School Settings      the air and on children who handle pets.
                                             Therefore, the entire building should be
The most common, obvious source of           cleaned thoroughly.
animal allergen is having a pet in the
classroom or school. If an animal is pre-    Schools are sometimes advised to use
sent in the school, there is a possibility   air cleaners. Although properly used
of direct, daily exposure to the animal’s    and maintained air cleaners may be
dander and bodily fluids. It is important    effective for reducing animal dander in
to realize that, even after extensive        small areas, they should only be consid-
cleaning, pet allergen levels may stay in    ered as an addition to other control
the indoor environment                       methods. It is also important to careful-
for several months after the animal          ly review information on the type of air
is removed.                                         cleaner used to make sure it is
                                                              suitably sized and has
The most effective                                             high particle removal
method to control-                                              efficiency. In addition,
ling exposure to                                                 some air-cleaning
animal allergens                                                    devices marketed
in schools is to                                                      as air purifiers
keep your school                                                       emit ozone,
free of feathered                                                      which may be
or furred animals.                                                  harmful to people
However, for some                                               with asthma.
individuals, isolation
measures may be suffi-
ciently effective. Isolation
measures include: keeping

                                                            Environmental Asthma Triggers   5
    Suggestions for Reducing                    ■ Locate animals away from ventilation
    Exposures in Schools                          system vents to avoid circulating aller-
                                                  gens throughout the room or building.
    ■ Remove animals from the school, if
                                                ■ Locate sensitive students as far away
                                                  from animals and habitats as possible.
    If completely removing animals from the
                                                ■ Keep animals away from upholstered
    school is not possible, then:
                                                  furniture, carpets, and stuffed toys.

    ■ Keep animals in cages or localized        These action items are included on the IAQ
      areas as much as possible; do not let     Tools for Schools Teachers Checklist.
      them roam.

    ■ Clean cages regularly. Consider using
      disposable gloves when cleaning.

    Control Cockroach and Pest Allergens
    Cockroach allergens may play a signifi-     investigations. These allergens may
    cant role in asthma throughout              also contribute to allergies and asthma
    inner-city, suburban, and rural schools.    in the general population.
    Certain proteins which act as allergens
    in the waste products and saliva of         Common Sources Found in School Settings
    cockroaches can cause allergic reac-
    tions or trigger asthma symptoms in         Cockroaches and other pests, such as
    some individuals.                           rats and mice, are often found in the
                                                school setting. Allergens from these
    Pest allergens are a significant cause of   pests may be significant asthma triggers
    occupational asthma symptoms among          for students and staff in schools. Pest
    laboratory workers, such as scientists      problems in schools may be caused or
    who work with animals in scientific         worsened by a variety of conditions

6     Environmental Asthma Triggers
such as plumbing leaks, moisture prob-         Confirm that appropriate food preparation,
lems, and improper food handling and           cooking, and storage practices are
storage practices. In order to manage a        implemented:
pest problem, water and food sources           ■ Review food handling and storage
need to be controlled in the school envi-        practices. Containers should be well-
ronment. Therefore, it is important to           sealed, with no traces of food left on
avoid exposure to these allergens                outside surfaces of containers.
through the use of common sense,
Integrated Pest Management (IPM)               ■ Make sure food is not kept in the
practices throughout the entire school.          classroom overnight.

                                               ■ Animal food should be kept in sealed
There are four key IPM methods for
reducing exposure to pests in the school
setting: 1) look for signs of pests; 2) do     Maintain general cleanliness:
not leave food, water, or garbage
                                               ■ Sweep and wet mop floors to remove
exposed; 3) remove pest pathways and
shelters; and 4) use pest control prod-
ucts such as poison baits, traps, and          ■ Clean stoves and ovens after use.
pesticide sprays, as needed.
                                               ■ Wipe counters clean with soap and
Integrated Pest Management Practices for         water or a disinfectant, according to
Reducing Exposures in Schools                    school policy.

                                               ■ Make sure trash is removed daily.
Check food preparation, cooking, and stor-
age areas regularly for signs of cockroaches   ■ Fix plumbing leaks and other
and pests:                                       moisture problems.
■ Look for dead cockroaches or pests.
                                               ■ Do not let water stand in air condition-
■ Look for waste products                        ing or refrigerator drip pans.
  (e.g., pest droppings).
                                               Select waste containers by considering the
■ Look for greasy smears on walls,             kind of waste that is placed in them:
  which could indicate possible rat runs.      ■ Food waste or contaminated papers
                                                 and plastics should be disposed of
                                                 properly in secured, covered contain-
                                                 ers or tied off plastic bags to
                                                 discourage pests.

                                                               Environmental Asthma Triggers   7
    Empty waste containers regularly and        If pesticide sprays are used in the school:
    frequently, and store them in an
                                                ■ Consider notifying school staff and
    appropriate location:
                                                  parents well in advance of pesticide
    ■ Follow a regular schedule of emptying       applications.
      waste containers in order to minimize
      odors and deprive pests of their food     ■ Schedule pesticide applications for
      sources.                                    unoccupied periods so that the affect-
                                                  ed area can be well ventilated before
    ■ Place dumpsters away from the build-        occupants return.
      ing to minimize opportunities for pests
      to enter the building.                    ■ Use pest control chemicals in strict
                                                  accordance with regulations and the
    Eliminate pest entryways, pathways,           instructions on the container.
    and shelters:
    ■ Remove clutter (e.g., stacks of papers)
                                                These action items can be found on the
      where cockroaches may hide.
                                                following checklists in the IAQ Tools for
                                                Schools Action Kit:
    ■ Seal small spaces where cockroaches
                                                Teachers Checklist, Waste Management
      may live (e.g., near where plumbing or
                                                Checklist, Food Service Checklist, Building
      electrical wiring goes through walls,
                                                Maintenance Checklist, Ventilation Checklist
      and cracks or spaces in walls around
      baseboards and window sills.)

    ■ Block possible entry points for rodents
      and other pests.

    Do not rely on widespread, indiscriminate
    use of pesticides to control pests:
    ■ Try using poison baits, boric acid, or
      traps before using pesticide sprays.

    ■ Track cockroach populations by using
      small sticky traps or monitoring traps
      which contain no pesticide.

    ■ Rats and mice should be trapped
      rather than baited.

    ■ Pesticide sprays should only be used
      in classrooms as a last resort.

8     Environmental Asthma Triggers
Clean Up Mold and Control Moisture

Molds can be found almost anywhere;           Common Moisture Sources Found in Schools
they can grow on virtually any sub-
stance, providing moisture is present.        Moisture problems in school buildings
Outdoors, many molds live in the soil         can be caused by a variety of condi-
and play a key role in the breakdown of       tions, including roof and plumbing leaks,
leaves, wood, and other plant debris.         condensation, and excess humidity.
Without molds we would be struggling          Some moisture problems in schools
with large amounts of dead plant matter.      have been linked to changes in building
                                              construction practices during the past
Molds produce tiny spores to repro-           twenty to thirty years. These changes
duce. Mold spores travel through the          have resulted in more tightly sealed
indoor and outdoor air continually.           buildings that may not allow moisture to
When mold spores land on a damp spot          escape easily. Moisture problems in
indoors, they may begin growing and           schools are also associated with
digesting whatever they are growing on        delayed maintenance or insufficient
in order to survive. There are molds that     maintenance, due to budget and other
can grow on wood, paper, carpet, and          constraints. Temporary structures in
foods. If excessive moisture or water         schools, such as trailers and portable
accumulates indoors, extensive mold           classrooms, have frequently been asso-
growth may occur, particularly if the         ciated with moisture and mold
moisture problem remains undiscovered         problems.
or unaddressed. There is no practical
way to eliminate all mold and mold            Suggestions for Reducing Mold
spores in the indoor environment; the         Growth in Schools
way to control indoor mold growth is to
control moisture. If mold is a problem in     Reduce Indoor Humidity:
your school, you must clean up the
                                              ■ Vent showers and other moisture-
mold and eliminate sources of moisture.
                                                generating sources to the outside.
When mold growth occurs in buildings,         ■ Control humidity levels and damp-
it may be followed by reports of health         ness by using air conditioners and
symptoms from some building occu-               de-humidifiers.
pants, particularly those with allergies or
respiratory problems. Potential health        ■ Provide adequate ventilation to main-
effects and symptoms associated with            tain indoor humidity levels between
mold exposures include allergic reac-           30-60%.
tions, asthma, and other respiratory
                                              ■ Use exhaust fans whenever cooking,
                                                dishwashing, and cleaning in food
                                                service areas.

                                                             Environmental Asthma Triggers   9
     Inspect the building                                   Prevent moisture condensation:
     for signs of mold, mois-
                                                        ■ Reduce the potential for con-
     ture, leaks, or spills:
                                                    densation on cold surfaces (i.e.,
     ■ Check for moldy odors.                       windows, piping, exterior walls, roof,
                                                    or floors) by adding insulation.
     ■ Look for water stains or discoloration
       on the ceiling, walls, floors, and win-    Floor and carpet cleaning:
       dow sills.
                                                  ■ Remove spots and stains immediately,
     ■ Look around and under sinks for              using the flooring manufacturer’s rec-
       standing water, water stains, or mold.       ommended techniques. Use care to
                                                    prevent excess moisture or cleaning
     ■ Inspect bathrooms for standing water,        residue accumulation and ensure that
       water stains, or mold.                       cleaned areas are dried quickly.
     ■ Do not let water stand in air condition-   ■ In areas where there is a perpetual
       ing or refrigerator drip pans.               moisture problem, do not install car-
                                                    peting (i.e., by drinking fountains, by
     Respond promptly when you see signs of
     moisture and/or mold, or when leaks or         classroom sinks, or on concrete
     spills occur:                                  floors with leaks or frequent conden-
     ■ Clean and dry any damp or wet build-
       ing materials and furnishings within       These action items are included on the fol-
       24-48 hours of occurrence to prevent       lowing checklists found in the IAQ Tools for
       mold growth.                               Schools Action Kit:
     ■ Fix the source of the water problem or     Ventilation Checklist, Building Maintenance
       leak to prevent mold growth.               Checklist, Administrative Staff Checklist,
                                                  Teachers Checklist, Food Service Checklist,
     ■ Clean mold off hard surfaces with          Renovation and Repair Checklist
       water and detergent, and dry com-
       pletely. Absorbent materials such as
       ceiling tiles, that are moldy, may need
       to be replaced.

     ■ Check the mechanical room and roof
       for unsanitary conditions, leaks, or

10     Environmental Asthma Triggers
Eliminate Secondhand Smoke Exposure

Secondhand smoke is the smoke from         Common Sources Found in School Settings
the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, or
cigar and the smoke breathed out by a      The majority of schools in the United
smoker. Secondhand smoke exposure          States prohibit smoking on school
causes a number of serious health          grounds. However, often times smoking
effects in young children, such as         occurs in school bathrooms, lounges,
coughing and wheezing, bronchitis and      and on school grounds. This may cause
pneumonia, ear infections, reduced lung    problems for students and staff who
function, and worsened asthma attacks.     have asthma.
Secondhand smoke is an irritant which
may trigger an asthma episode, and         It is important to enforce smoking bans
increasing evidence suggests second-       on school grounds in order to prevent
hand smoke may cause asthma in             exposure from secondhand smoke. If
children. The Environmental Protection     smoking occurs within the building, sec-
Agency estimates that between 200,000      ondhand smoke can travel through the
and 1,000,000 children with asthma         ventilation system to the entire school.
have their condition made worse by         Also, even when people smoke outside,
exposure to secondhand smoke.              secondhand smoke may enter the
Secondhand smoke can also lead to          school through the ventilation system,
buildup of fluid in the middle ear, the    open windows, and doors.
most common cause of children being
hospitalized for an operation.             Suggestion for Reducing Exposure in Schools

                                           ■ Enforce smoking bans on school

                                           Refer to the IAQ Tools for Schools Health
                                           Officer/School Nurse Checklist.

                                                          Environmental Asthma Triggers   11
     Reduce Exposure to Dust Mites

     Dust mite allergens play a significant      Suggestions for Reducing
     role in asthma. These allergens may         Exposure in Schools
     cause an allergic reaction or trigger an
     asthma episode in sensitive individuals.    ■ Choose washable stuffed toys; wash
     In addition, there is evidence that dust      them often in hot water.
     mites cause new cases of asthma in
     susceptible children.                       ■ Cover pillows in dust-proof (allergen-
                                                   impermeable), zipped covers.
     Dust mites are too small to be seen but
                                                 ■ Remove dust from hard surfaces often
     are found in homes, schools, and other
                                                   with a damp cloth, and vacuum car-
     buildings throughout the United States.
                                                   peting and fabric-covered furniture to
     Dust mites live in mattresses, pillows,
                                                   reduce dust buildup. Allergic people
     carpets, fabric-covered furniture, bed-
                                                   should leave the area being vacu-
     covers, clothes, and stuffed toys. Their
                                                   umed. Vacuums with high efficiency
     food source is dead skin flakes.
                                                   filters or central vacuums may be
     Common Sources Found in Schools
                                                 Refer to IAQ Tools for Schools Teachers and
     Dust mites may be found in schools in       Building Maintenance Checklists.
     carpeting, upholstered furniture, stuffed
     animals or toys, and pillows. Stuffed
     animals or toys, as well as pillows for
     taking naps, are used mostly in the
     primary grades.

12        Environmental Asthma Triggers
Asthma Management and Education

Experts convened by the National             action card should be signed by a
Asthma Education and Prevention              physician and parent or care-giver and
Program (NAEPP) and coordinated by           kept on file at school. The Asthma and
the National Institutes of Health (NIH)      Allergy Foundation of America’s (AAFA)
have reviewed the scientific literature      asthma action card is provided in this
and produced guidelines which define         publication. AAFA encourages duplica-
the best diagnosis and management            tion and distribution of the asthma
practices for asthma. These NAEPP            action card in the school setting.
guidelines include recommendations for
medical diagnosis and treatment,             Provide School-Based Asthma
including the use of inhalation therapy      Education Programs
and specific recommendations for con-
trolling indoor environmental factors that   The school setting provides an opportu-
contribute to asthma severity.               nity for directly educating children,
                                             parents, and care-givers about asthma
Develop an Asthma Management

                                                                                               Asthma Management
                                             management and indoor environmental
Plan in Your School                          triggers. An example of a school-based

                                                                                                  and Education
                                             asthma education program is the
Schools can play an important role in        American Lung Association’s (ALA)
helping students manage their asthma         Open Airways For Schools. This ele-
by providing support through the devel-      mentary school-based program
opment of an asthma management               empowers children and their parents by
plan. Each school should develop an          teaching them to take control of asthma.
overall asthma management plan which
includes school policies on the use of
inhalers and medications, actions or
emergency procedures school staff
should take when a student has an
asthma attack, and student asthma
action cards. The student asthma
action card serves as an individual man-
agement plan for each student with
asthma. It provides pertinent informa-
tion to school officials on each student’s
asthma condition.

The asthma action card should contain
the student’s medical information, iden-
tified asthma triggers, emergency
procedures, and phone numbers. This

                                                        Asthma Management and Education   13
     Through the ALA’s Open Airways For          Although asthma affects children of all
     Schools program, children learn that        backgrounds, minority groups are dis-
     their asthma can be controlled and what     proportionately affected. To reach
     steps they can take to manage their         children from all backgrounds, artwork
     condition. Specifically, they learn to      in the curriculum was designed with a
     prevent asthma episodes by reducing         distinctive multi-cultural appeal with
     their exposure to environmental asthma      specially designed cartoon illustrations
     triggers and using their asthma “control”   of children in urban, rural, and suburban
     medication correctly. Children also         settings. To reach an even broader
     learn what to do when asthma symp-          audience, ALA’s Open Airways For
     toms develop, how to use “episodic”         Schools is now available with both
     medications correctly, and when to seek     English and Spanish language text on
     help from adults.                           the handouts and posters.

     Designed for eight to11-year old chil-      For more information about the American
     dren with asthma, this curriculum           Lung Association’s Open Airways For
     consists of six lessons and is designed     Schools program, contact your local Lung
     to be easy for trained volunteers or        Association at 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-
     school staff to present. Generally held
                                                 586-4872) or visit the ALA website
     during the school day, each lesson
     takes about 40 minutes and is flexible
     enough to fit any school’s schedule.
     The program’s hands-on teaching
     approach utilizes group discussion, sto-
     ries, games, and role-playing to promote
     children’s active involvement in the
     learning process.

     Children enrolled in this program have
     demonstrated: increased school perfor-
     mance; more confidence in their ability
     to manage asthma; greater influence on
     their parents’ asthma manage-
     ment decisions; fewer episodes of asth-
     ma, as well as episodes of shorter
     duration; and more active management
     of their asthma. The program is
     approved and recommended by the
     National Association of School Nurses.

14     Asthma Management and Education
                                                                                      Reviewed by

 Asthma Action Card                              Asthma and Allergy
                                                 Foundation of America
                                                                         National Asthma Education and
                                                                              Prevention Program

Name:     __________________________________________ Grade: ________Age: ________________
Homeroom Teacher:       ______________________________ Room: ______________________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ______________________________________Ph: (H) ____________________
Address: __________________________________________________Ph: (W) ____________________
Parent/Guardian Name: ______________________________________Ph: (H) ____________________
Address: __________________________________________________Ph: (W) ____________________
Emergency Phone Contact #1:         __________________________________________________________
                                   Name                                  Relationship                           Phone

Emergency Phone Contact #2:         __________________________________________________________
                                   Name                                  Relationship                           Phone

Physician Treating Student for Asthma: ______________________________Ph: __________________
Other Physician: __________________________________________________Ph: __________________

Emergency Plan
Emergency action is necessary when the student has symptoms such as ______________________,
______________________, ______________________, ______________________,
______________________, or has a peak flow reading of ______________________.

Steps to take during an asthma episode:
1. Check peak flow.
2. Give medications as listed below. Student should respond to treatment in 15-20 minutes.
3. Contact parent/guardian if: ____________________________________________________________
4. Re-check peak flow.
5. Seek emergency medical care if the student has any of the following:
         ✔ Coughs constantly
         ✔ No improvement 15-20 minutes after initial treatment with medication and a relative cannot
           be reached
         ✔ Peak flow of ______________________

                                                                                                                         Asthma Action Card
         ✔ Hard time breathing with:
               • Chest and neck pulled in with breathing
               • Stooped body posture
               • Struggling or gasping                                                                   ID Photo
        ✔ Trouble walking or talking
        ✔ Stops playing and can’t start activity again
        ✔ Lips or fingernails are grey or blue

Emergency Asthma Medications
  Name                                    Amount                                              When to Use
1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________________________________________
4. ____________________________________________________________________________________

                                                                                          Asthma Action Card        15
Daily Asthma Management Plan
(Identify the things which start an asthma episode. Check each that applies to the student.)

❏ Exercise                         ❏ Strong odors or fumes                 ❏ Other ______________________
❏ Respiratory infections           ❏ Chalk dust /dust                      ❏ Change in temperature
❏ Carpets in the room              ❏ Animals                               ❏ Pollens
❏ Food _______________________                                             ❏ Molds
Comments         __________________________________________________________________

Control of School Environment
(List any environmental control measures, pre-medications, and/or dietary restrictions that the student needs to prevent an
asthma episode.) ________________________________________________________________________
Peak Flow Monitoring
Personal Best Peak Flow Number: ______________________________________________________
Monitoring Times:        ____________________________________________________________________

Daily Medication Plan
  Name                                           Amount                                  When to Use
1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
3. ____________________________________________________________________________________
4. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Comments/Special Instructions
For Inhaled Medications
❏ I have instructed ________________________________ in the proper way to use his/her medications.
  It is my professional opinion that ________________________________ should be allowed to carry and
  use that medication by him/herself.

❏ It is my professional opinion that ________________________________ should not carry his/her inhaled
  medication by him/herself.

                   Physician Signature                                         Date

                   Parent/Guardian Signature                                   Date

           AAFA • 1233 20th Street, N.W., Suite 402 , Washington, DC 20036 • • 1-800-7-ASTHMA
    16        Asthma Action Card
Additional Resources

For more information on asthma contact:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency       Center for Disease Control and Prevention                     (770)488-7320
Download the IAQ Tools for Schools
Action Kit from EPA’s website.             Find out more information on the
                                           Asthma Prevention Program by visiting
U.S. EPA Indoor Air Quality Information    this website.
Clearinghouse (IAQ INFO)
                                           Integrated Pest Management
                                           in Schools Website
(703)356-5386 Fax
Call and request the IAQ Tools for
Schools Action Kit.                        Find out more IPM information by
                                           visiting this website.
Allergy and Asthma Network/Mothers of
Asthmatics, Inc.
Ask about obtaining their School
Information Packet.

American Lung Association
Ask about the Open Airways For
Schools program.

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Ask about AAFA’s Asthma Management
at School presentation for parents and
school personnel. Also available are
additional school-based child and teen
education materials.
                                                                                              Additional Resources

                                                                  Additional Resources   17
National Association of School Nurses
(207)883-2117                                       EPA has included the names, phone numbers, and                                        E-mail addresses of these non-profit organizations in
Ask about obtaining Asthma Modules to pre-          this publication for informational purposes only. This
sent to school staff.                               does not imply Agency endorsement of the products,
                                                    services or general policies of any of these organiza-
National Asthma Education and                       tions. Further, the organizations mentioned in this
                                                    publication are not the only sources of information
Prevention Program                                  on asthma in schools. Additional information may
(301)592-8573                                       be obtained from your physician or other health care                                   provider, insurance carrier, school system, or state
Ask about obtaining four publications:              or local public health agency as appropriate.
Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools,
Asthma and Physical Activity in School, How
Asthma Friendly is your School?, and the
Asthma Awareness Curriculum.

National Education Association Health Information
Call to request information on a variety
of health issues in schools, including
asthma. Check website for IAQ in
schools information.

National Parent Teacher Association
Ask about obtaining an Asthma Module
to present at PTA meetings.

School Asthma Website
An educational website designed
for school nurses.

18       Additional Resources

US EPA/Region 1                    US EPA/Region 6 (6PD-T)
(CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT)           (AR, LA, NM, OK, TX)
1 Congress Street                  1445 Ross Avenue
Suite 1100                         Dallas, TX 75202-2733
Boston, MA 02114-2023              (214)665-7547
(617)918-1639                      (214)665-6762 fax
(617)918-1505 fax

                                   US EPA/Region 7 (ARTD/RALI)
US EPA/Region 2                    (IA, KS, MO, NE)
(NJ, NY, PR, VI)
                                   901 North 5th Street
290 Broadway                       Kansas City, KS 66101
28th Floor                         (913)551-7020
New York, NY 10007-1866            (913)551-7065 fax
(212)637-4942 fax
                                   US EPA/Region 8 (8P-AR)
                                   (CO, MT, ND, SD, UT, WY)
US EPA/Region 3
(DC, DE, MD, PA, VA, WV)           999 18th Street
                                   Suite 500
1650 Arch Street                   Denver, CO 80202-2466
Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029        (303)312-6144
(215)814-2704                      (303)312-6044 fax
(215)814-2101 fax

                                   US EPA/Region 9 (Air-6)
US EPA/Region 4
                                   (AZ, CA, HI, NV, AS, GU)
(AL, FL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN)
                                   75 Hawthorn Street
61 Forsyth Street, SW
                                   San Francisco, CA 94105
Atlanta, GA 30303-3104
                                   (415)744-1073 fax
(404)562-9095 fax

                                   US EPA/Region 10 (OAQ-107)
US EPA/Region 5 (AE-17J)           (AK, ID, OR, WA)
(IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI)
                                   1200 Sixth Avenue
77 West Jackson Boulevard          10th Floor
Chicago, IL 60604                  Seattle, WA 98101
(312)353-2205                      (206)553-2589
(312)886-0617 fax                  (206)553-0110 fax

                                                       Additional Resources   19
10 Ways to
Manage Asthma in
the School Environment
1    Use the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit

2    Control Animal Allergens

3    Control Cockroach Allergens

4    Clean Up Mold and Control Moisture

5    Eliminate Secondhand Smoke Exposure

6    Reduce Dust Mite Exposure

7    Develop an Asthma Management
     Plan in Your School

8    Provide School-Based
     Asthma Education Programs

9    File Student Asthma Action Cards

10   Gather Additional Asthma
     Information and Resources

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