Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Top 10 Tips for Managing Asthma in Schools: The IAQ Tools for Schools Connector E-Newsletter



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Top 10 Tips for Managing Asthma in Schools

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Did You Know …

May 31, 2012, is World No Tobacco Day?

The World Health Organization (WHO) selected May 31, 2012, as World No Tobacco Day. Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks. Children's developing bodies make them more susceptible to the effects of secondhand smoke and, due to their small size, they breathe more rapidly than adults, thereby taking in more secondhand smoke. Do your part and promote nonsmoking policies at your school!

Share YOUR news and events!

Send us information to share with the school IAQ community. It could be featured in the next Connector e-newsletter. Email your news and events to

Should we have our schools tested for radon? How do we keep mold from returning once it has been removed?

Find answers to these and other questions on the Schools IAQ Connector Email Discussion List. Join today by sending a blank email message to Then check your email inbox for confirmation and membership details.

Access Previous Connector E-Newsletters Online

Can’t find a previous IAQ Tools for Schools Connector e-newsletter in your email inbox? No problem! Visit the e-newsletter archive on the IAQ Tools for Schools website to access printable versions (PDFs) of all past editions.

News and Events

· Discover Why Good IAQ is Essential for Creating Green and Healthy Schools. Robust IAQ management plans and healthy learning environments are essential components of green and healthy schools. Learn more by registering for the U.S. Department of Education's (ED's) Green Strides Webinar Series on Thursday, June 21, 2012, from 1 - 2 p.m. EDT. Register today!

· Attend the Clean, Green and Healthy Tribal Schools Workshop. EPA Region 8 is hosting a free workshop in Denver, Colorado, on Monday, June 11, 2012. The goal of the workshop is to provide information and tools for tribal school personnel, school health professionals and others within the school community. Learn more and register today.

· Visit IAQ Tools for Schools at Upcoming School Conferences. Representatives from EPA will be attending two upcoming conferences promoting the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance, including the National Association of School Nurses (NASN) Annual Conference, which will be held June 23-26, 2012, in San Francisco, California. IAQ Tools for Schools will also be present at the 2012 National Education Association (NEA) Annual Meeting and Representative Assembly, to be held June 27-July 5, 2012, in Washington, D.C.


Top 10 Tips for Managing Asthma in Schools

An average of one out of every 10 school-age children has asthma. Asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism, with more than 10.5 million school days missed each year due to asthma.

With statistics like these, it's no wonder that asthma management has become a priority for many schools.

Use the 10 tips below to help control asthma at your school.

1. Develop an IAQ management program in your school or district that includes asthma management strategies. Use the Framework for Effective School IAQ Management to improve the school environment, support children's health, and reduce exposure to environmental asthma triggers.

2. Develop an asthma management plan outlining policies on the use of inhalers and other medication, as well as emergency procedures for asthma attacks. Obtain Asthma Action Plans from students' parents or doctors outlining their triggers, medications and emergency contact information.

3. Use the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit to identify, solve and prevent IAQ problems that may exacerbate asthma symptoms. Conduct a walkthrough of your school buildings using the IAQ Tools for Schools Action Kit Checklists to determine whether asthma triggers exist. If triggers are found, develop and implement a remediation plan.

4. Reduce environmental asthma triggers found within or around your school buildings. For example, create or reinforce existing nonsmoking policies in all buildings on school grounds and at all school sponsored events.

5. Reduce children's exposure to diesel exhaust. Learn more about EPA's Clean School Bus USA program and its resources to help schools eliminate unnecessary bus idling and reduce the amount of air pollution created by diesel school buses.Key

6. Provide school-based asthma education programs by contacting local chapters of the American Lung Association or your state's Department of Health.

7. Offer education on environmental asthma triggers and management strategies for teachers, custodians and other school staff. Encourage teachers to incorporate asthma and the importance of quality indoor environments into appropriate lesson plans, such as in science, math, language arts or health classes.

8. Communicate with parents about your efforts and point them to resources they can use to effectively manage their child's asthma and reduce exposure to asthma triggers in their homes. For example, educate parents at local PTA/PTO meetings.

9. Use EPA's School IAQ Connector Email Discussion List to ask questions about asthma management to other members. Join today by sending a blank email message to Then check your email inbox for your confirmation and membership details.Key

10. Use the following resources to make a difference in your school for students with asthma:

· Managing Asthma in the School Environment: This guide offers valuable information for all school employees, especially school nurses, teachers and maintenance staff, on how to identify and control environmental triggers commonly found in schools.Key

· Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma: Available in English and Spanish, this brochure offers tips and helpful pictures on how to manage asthma by developing a plan and following simple steps to minimize exposure to asthma triggers found indoors and outside.

· Dusty the Asthma Goldfish and His Asthma Triggers Funbook: Available in English and Spanish, this funbook is filled with activities for children such as a maze, connect-the-dots game, and coloring book pages that will help parents and children learn together about asthma triggers that can be found in the home and how to avoid them.


Share, Learn, Connect - Join

Are you interested in connecting with others working on asthma management in schools?

Join, an online network designed for school and community-based asthma programs and the organizations that support them. This online network encourages community-based asthma programs to collaborate and share best practices to achieve remarkable health and quality of life improvements for people with asthma. Join today to enroll your program or join an existing program serving your community. Members have real-time access to other registered programs and cutting-edge tools and resources.

Benefits for member programs include:

· Learning from and networking with asthma programs nationwide.

· Locating and teaming with mentors to assist with program activities.

· Accessing emerging themes in asthma management strategies.

· Highlighting your program's activities with your own program profile page.

· Posting and finding local, regional and national events.

· Receiving national asthma awards and recognition.

· Engaging in dynamic conversations with peers on the discussion forum.

· Sharing your success stories, highlighting an event or describing a challenge you are facing on a blog.

Join this interactive online network today at


Get Answers to Your Questions

Is there a topic you want to see covered in an IAQ Tools for Schools Connector e-newsletter? Do you have suggestions for a webinar or e-newsletter feature, or do you have questions about a specific IAQ topic? If so, send us an email at

The IAQ Tools for Schools guidance is a comprehensive resource designed to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting and preventing IAQ problems. Learn more about the IAQ Tools for Schools guidance at


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