The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention reports that asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and youth in the United States and a leading cause of school absenteeism. However, with the correct information and required forms and authorizations, your school nurse and educators can help you manage your child's asthma plan and keep them in school.

The first step in asthma management is education. It is important that parents speak with their child's health care provider about what asthma is and how to manage it. 
Click here for a CDC's Basic Facts about Asthma page. It is important that asthma education includes working with your child to become "self-managing" as they begin to identify and understand their asthma over time. The long term goal is to support the development of children who can care for, and self-advocate for, themselves appropriately into adulthood. 

Second, identify "triggers" that could bring on an asthma attack and work to eliminate them from your child's environment. Click here for more information about asthma triggers. 

Third, speak with your child's health care provider about an Asthma Action Plan for the management of your child's asthma while he/she is at school. It is important that the plan include preventive (maintenance) and response treatments for the changing severity of your child's asthma throughout the school year. **Note: medications dispensed through metered dose inhalers work best if administered with a spacer, regardless of the child's age. See here for a tutorial.**

Discuss with your health care provider when it is absolutely necessary to keep a student home from school due to asthma, and when the school nurse can help your child manage their asthma through minor colds or allergy season.

And finally, your child's medication(s), dosages, plan and administration will most likely change with your developing child's physiology, increased body weight, and ability to understand and manage their asthma independently. Updated and current plans and authorizations are required every school year that your child requires asthma management. Collaboration among parents, health care providers, school nurses, and educators will help ensure the best course of action for your child's transition to and independent and healthy adulthood.