The average American classroom of 30 students will have about three students with asthma.1 And since 19 million adults in the U.S. have asthma, schools will have teachers and staff with asthma too.2 As schools reopen in the fall, creating a more asthma-friendly environment may help students and staff better control their asthma and help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Increased cleaning to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus can actually expose students and staff to more asthma triggers. Exposure to asthma triggers can cause asthma symptoms, including cough. Creating asthma-friendly schools is an important part of keeping students and staff healthy.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has created the COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools. This resource is a supplement to current district, state and federal reopening guidelines. It has resources to help schools better manage asthma and address the spread of the new coronavirus together. The comprehensive toolkit includes:
- Easy-to-use checklists schools can use daily to ensure protocols are in place to manage asthma and minimize the spread of the new coronavirus
- “Is it COVID-19, the Flu, a Cold or Allergies?,” a symptoms chart for quick reference (in English and Spanish) that shows the difference between seasonal allergy, cold, flu and COVID-19 symptoms
- The basics of asthma management
- Guidance on stocking and administering quick-relief asthma medicines
- Guidance on the use of masks or cloth face coverings, physical distancing and access to hand-washing stations
- A sample letter for school nurses asking parents for an inhaler and spacer to be kept at school
- Resources for administrators, school nurses, teachers and facilities staff
You can access the free COVID-19 and Asthma Toolkit for Schools two ways:
- Read the toolkit online.
- Sign up to receive your copy. You will be alerted if any changes are applied to the toolkit or future editions are released.
1. Asthma. (2019, May 29). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/asthma/index.htm
2. Most Recent National Asthma Data. (2020, March 24). Retrieved June 22, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/asthma/mos...onal_asthma_data.htm