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Monday, December 3, 2012

How can schools help during an asthma attack?

(Shutterstock image)


I always worried when my kids were little that they would have an asthma attack at school, and I wouldn't be there to help. In fact, they did have asthma attacks and they would call me on my cell phone. I can't tell you how many times I have left a grocery cart in the middle of the aisle and took off for the kid's school. The school nurse was gone and the teacher and secretary didn't know what to do. In our area, school nurses are in charge of 5 or 6 schools, so the chance that they will be there when one of my kids has an asthma attack is zero. I used to joke that our Wonderful School Nurse will be at the school between 8:30-12:30 on Monday mornings, so if they're going to have an asthma attack, make sure it's during that time!

Are the teachers and staff in your school trained to handle an asthma attack if the school nurse is gone? I know that in our state, the state health department provides an Asthma Training for Schools. It takes 15 minute and it's called, "What To Do in Case of an Asthma Attack." The training talks about how many kids in our state have asthma, the signs and symptoms of asthma, and what to do if a student has an asthma attack.

The puzzling thing is that a lot of schools will tell the state health department that they don't have time for a training. I don't understand that. I know that schools nurses are taking care of students with asthma, diabetes, seizure disorders, autism, etc, etc. If the state can train the staff how to treat asthma attacks, wouldn't the nurse have more time to help students with other medical conditions? Wouldn't the staff feel more comfortable knowing they could help a student who was having an asthma attack?

If you have kids in school, check with the school nurse and ask if the staff has been trained. You can't be there with your kids all day at school, but it would be nice if the person taking care of them for 7 hours a day was trained to know what to do.

That's just my two cents worth today..

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