Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children. It is also the top reason for missed school days. If your child has asthma, know what forms your school requires for managing medicines and asthma episodes at school. You must send a new set of signed forms to their school each year.
Here is our checklist of the forms you need to finish before the first day. Get copies of these forms from the school. These forms will need your doctor's authorization or signature. Return the signed forms, along with your child’s asthma medicine.
✓ Medicine Authorization
These forms state if your child can self-carry and/or self-administer quick-relief medicine at school. Quick-relief medicines help relieve asthma symptoms when they happen. These medicines act fast to relax tight muscles around your airways.
These forms are required even if the medicine will be stored and given by school staff. The forms give the school permission to give medicine to your child.
Keep in mind that self-carry and self-administration are two different decisions. If the school forms do not allow you and your doctor to make a choice, ask about changing the forms to fit your child’s needs.
✓ Asthma Action Plan
Everyone with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan. This plan gives information and instructions on how to manage asthma. It includes:
- Recognizing when your child’s symptoms get worse
- What to do in an emergency
Give a copy to the school. Include a photo of your child. Make sure your contact information is up to date.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Children with asthma may need an Individual Health Plan (IHP) or 504 Plan. These are detailed plans that list how the school will accommodate your child’s asthma or allergies.
What to Do Next?
- Call your child’s doctor now and make an appointment to get this paperwork signed.
- Get more free school planning resources for managing your child’s asthma at school.
- Kids With Food Allergies (KFA), a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, has more information about planning for school if your child also has food allergies.
- If your child also has food allergies, read our KFA blog post The School Forms You Need Before Your Child with Food Allergies Starts School.
- Watch Back to School with Asthma and Food Allergies. David Stukus, MD, and Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, talk more about preparing to send your child to school in this webinar. They also discuss how your allergist can help with back-to-school planning.
Originally published August 2016, updated August 2017