information for the community

 

asthma awareness education program

 

Mission StatementAsthma Component

The Asthma Awareness Education Program will address the needs of students and staff by creating a healthy environment and by providing technical and educational resources for the students and staff on air quality and asthma management.

We utilize a four component approach to achieve a healthy environment for all students.

Our commitment to classroom indoor air quality and asthma management results in higher student/staff productivity and attendance which benefit the district with increased state funding, lower healthcare costs, and
increased student performance.

Healthier children learn better.

 

Awareness

Poor Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) can impact the comfort and health of all students and staff which, in turn, can affect concentration, attendance, and student performance. Indoor air quality is a significant concern, because when the hours spent sleeping, working in offices or at school are added up, people on average spend the vast majority of their time indoors where they are repeatedly exposed to indoor air pollutants. By providing an environment that is healthy for our most sensitive individuals we can achieve an environment that is healthy for everyone.

Asthma is the number one reason why students miss school days nationwide accounting for 14 million days annually. In NEISD this common health issue affects close to 8,000 of students (12% of population) and generates over 70,000 visits to the school nurse for use of asthma medications occurs each year. Program goals for all students are to improve attendance (increase state funding), decrease class time interruptions due to symptoms (increase student performance), and fully participate in desired physical activities (promote healthy lifestyle).

Asthmatics should have:

• Normal activity level
• Ability to engage in desired activities
• No school days missed
• Reliever inhaler use no more than twice per week
• Night-time cough no more than twice per month
• Normal (or “near normal”) pulmonary function
• No Emergency Room / Urgent Care visits
• No Hospitalizations

 

Environment

Infectious Microbes:
• Cold/Flu Virus Transmission Paths in the classroom
• Many bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections are associated with the majority
of asthma exacerbations and illnesses in both children and adults

Invisible Particles;
• High aerosols Levels in the classroom due to high occupancy level
• Airborne particles have the potential to cause allergic reactions, skin irritation,
coughing, sneezing, respiratory difficulties and circulatory system problems

Irritant Gases:
• Total volatile organic compounds (TVOC), formaldehyde, body odors, and
and biological contaminants are causes for occupant discomfort
and poor health outcomes

Infections + Invisible particles + Irritant gases = Inflammation process in many human organs

 

Medication/Tools

Monitoring of Environment at home/school/work

Infectious Microbes:
Non-alcohol microbial hand wipes/foams to reduce transmission

Invisible Particles:
Measurement of particles in occupied spaces, upgraded filtrations devices increased ventilation, and educational tools for behavior modification of staff/students

Irritant Gases:
Green cleaning products used district wide to reduce chemical emissions, removal of fragranced products that emit chemicals, smoke free environment, integrated pest management, anti idling policy/programs, Outdoor Air Quality Health Alert monitoring and gas phase air filters

Asthma Friendly Campus Award to reward campuses committed to implementing asthma management best practices

The Asthma Control Test (test for children 4-11 years old - test for 12 years and older) is performed in the nurses clinic on asthmatics who come in frequently (>2 times / week) for symptom management. This test can help identify and assess the asthmatic to determine if medication is adequate and/or environmental factors are being addressed

Emergency Nebulizer protocol to decrease EMS occurrences for documented diagnosed asthmatics in need of Albuterol that have no medications on campus

Two Types of Medications: Controller and Reliever
Controller/Maintenance medicines are used to achieve and maintain control of persistent asthma
         • Taken every day whether or not experiencing asthma symptoms
         • Key to managing asthma; does not stop an episode once it starts
         • Reduces the inflammation (swelling) in the lungs              

-- The most effective long-term controller medications are those that ease the chronic inflammatory aspect of asthmatic airway.

Quick-relief medications: taken as needed, relaxes airway muscles to give prompt relief of symptoms
          • Work in 5 to 10 minutes
          • For symptom relief or pre-medicating before exercise
          • Frequent use for symptoms may be sign of asthma not in control

The proper use/technique of inhalers is key to effective asthma management and achieving asthma control.

 

Education/Management

The "EPA Tools for Schools Program" is a comprehensive resource to help schools maintain a healthy environment in school buildings by identifying, correcting, and preventing IAQ problems. NEISD has received recognition from the EPA on its IAQ and Asthma Awareness Education Program.

NEISD developed a four-component, comprehensive approach to asthma control that provides a proactive approach to address the most common childhood disease that generates multi-day, recurring absenteeism. Using a collective approach, we educate not only our staff in asthma awareness, but we also provide education and disease management strategies for our students and parents. This brings awareness to asthmatics, as well as undiagnosed asthmatics, in order for them to receive self-management tools and the empowerment to understand and control the disease. By closing the gap between parents and the medical community through our ‘Asthma Blow Outs’ we can help parents improve their child’s quality of life by educating them on the tools available to achieve asthma control.

 

North East ISD is proud to be the recipient of the following EPA Tools for Schools Awards:

2013 EPA National Environmental Leadership Award in Asthma Management http://www.epa.gov/asthma/award_winners.html#northeast

2010 Model of Sustained Excellence Award

2009 National Mentorship Award

2008 National Excellence Award

2008 Special Achievement Award: Asthma Program

2007 Leadership Award

  • Contact the Asthma Awareness Education program at (210) 356-9247.