Asthma is a condition that affects the airways. It makes it hard to breathe because the airways become swollen, produce too much mucus and the muscles around the airways tighten. Asthma can range from mild to severe and can be life threatening and must be appropriately managed through the monitoring of symptoms and administration of medication as prescribed. There is no cure for asthma, but it can be controlled by ongoing medical care, including a management plan developed by a health care provider, medication, avoidance of triggers and good health habits.
In order to proactively support and assist your child with their medical needs while at school, we request that you notify the school nurse if your child has a diagnosis of asthma. If your child has a diagnosis of asthma, we need to discuss their needs with you. We also need a copy of their Asthma Action Plan, medication, medication orders and parental authorization for medication administration as prescribed. Additionally, it is very important that we have information relating to students that self-carry and administer their inhaler. The Asthma Action Plan provides guidance in the event your child has asthma symptoms. Appropriate management of asthma requires use of prescribed medication as ordered by your child’s doctor. In the event you do not have an Asthma Action Plan, please contact your child’s physician to discuss if such a plan is warranted.
We urge you to contact the school health office to discuss your child’s current needs relating to their asthma.
(Please refer to the FORMS section to find Asthma forms to provide to the school nurse. )
What are the warning signs of an asthma attack?
Warning signs are symptoms that someone is having difficulty with asthma. Symptoms of an asthma attack may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling tired or weak
- Itchy chin or throat
- Watery eyes
- Dark circles under eyes
- Medications are not working or do not last
- Increase in coughing or tightness in chest
- Inability to do usual activities
All of these symptoms do not necessarily occur during an asthma attack.
*Information gathered from the Illinois Department of Public Health