Tips for Managing Asthma at School

Asthma is one of the main illness-related causes of school absences among students under the age of 18. Students miss 14 million days of school each year due to asthma, so it's vital that school staff and caregivers have the tools and information they need to maintain healthy environments in classrooms.

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Avoiding Asthma Triggers at School

When children and adolescents are exposed to asthma triggers such as dust mites, pollen, or tobacco smoke in the environment, their symptoms may get worse. Asthma symptoms can be controlled by identifying and learning to avoid triggers and, if needed, by taking medications prescribed by a doctor.


Learn About Asthma Triggers

Tips for Managing Asthma at School

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Take The Asthma Control TestTM Regularly

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Create an Asthma Action Plan to Help Manage Your Asthma at School

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Share Your Asthma Action Plan With Your School

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Teach Kids How and When to Use Medication

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Find Out If Your School Is Asthma Friendly

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Monitor Physical Activity

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Prepare for School

The first step for getting your child—or yourself—prepared for school is to have a plan. List out all the things you’ll need to ensure that asthma can be properly managed in the school setting.

Some examples:

  • Schedule a check-up with your child's doctor
  • Schedule a meeting with the school’s nurse
  • Provide your child’s Asthma Action Plan
  • Inform teachers and coaches about their (or your) condition, including the Asthma Action Plan and which medications are used when
  • Assess your child's readiness to self-carry medication
  • Ensure all medications are full and readily accessible, including their (or your) quick-relief inhaler
Image: Parent and Child Taking Asthma Control Test Online

Take The Asthma Control TestTM

The Asthma Control TestTM can help your child’s healthcare provider evaluate whether or not their asthma symptoms are under control. There are two tests—one for children ages 4-11 and one for ages 12 and older.

Asthma Control TestTM

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Share an Asthma Action Plan

An Asthma Action Plan will give your child’s teachers, nurse, and school staff a comprehensive outline of their asthma symptoms, medications, and instructions on how to help provide aid with flare-ups and when to get medical assistance.

Create an Asthma Action Plan

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Teach Kids How to Use Quick-Relief Inhalers

Asthma attacks can happen suddenly, and for children that can be particularly frightening, especially if there are no adults nearby who can help. For this reason, every child with asthma should always carry their rescue inhaler with them and know how to use their rescue inhalers on their own. You and your doctor can assess your child's comfort with using medicine and devices and determine how to prepare them for using their rescue inhalers on their own. Be sure to ask about spacers or whether a spacer could help.

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Find Out If Your School Is Asthma Friendly

Asthma friendly schools have taken steps to improve indoor air quality and student’s access to asthma medications. Inquire with officials about the school’s best practices for managing students’ asthma symptoms.

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Monitor Physical Activity

Students and adults with asthma need to be aware about how physical activity and exercise can impact their asthma symptoms. Talk to your child’s (or your) doctor about how physical activity may affect asthma symptoms, especially in cold weather.

More Tips for Living Well With Asthma

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Tips for Managing Asthma at Home

Learn more about ways to manage asthma triggers at home.

Learn More

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Tips for Managing Asthma at Work

Find out how to better manage your symptoms at the office—or wherever your job takes you.

Learn More