Asthma is one of the most common chronic diseases in the world, affecting more than 300 million people worldwide. It is characterized by recurrent breathing problems and symptoms such as breathlessness, wheezing, chest tightness, and coughing. Asthma symptoms vary over time, and also from individual to individual.
Allergy & Asthma Awareness Education in Schools
May is allergy and asthma awareness month. There is no better place to promote asthma education, especially the management of environmental triggers than in schools. Join EPA to plan an educational event for staff, parents, and students at a local school. To do this, you will need the support of the school or district administration, school nurse, and other key staff.
Planning asthma educational activities at the school:
- Offer asthma education on environmental asthma triggers and management during in-service days for teachers, custodians, and other school staff
- Offer asthma education for parents at local PTA/PTO meetings or other similar events.
- Read children’s books on asthma to students, such as Taking Asthma to School, Zoo Allergy, and The ABC’s of Asthma, by Kim Gosselin;
- Arrange a school-wide assembly with guest speakers, such as kids with asthma, local celebrities, TV personalities, or local doctors or politicians;
- Organize an asthma poster contest for children;
- Coordinate with the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to launch a Power Breathing Program for middle and high school students with asthma;
- Sponsor a staff breakfast or lunch and introduce the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools Program;
- Design asthma awareness bulletin boards or other displays for students and staff.
- Encourage teachers to incorporate asthma and the environment into appropriate curricula, e.g., science and health.
- Include asthma awareness information in school newsletters and other packets sent home to parents/guardians.
- Conduct a walkthrough of your school to determine if asthma triggers exist. If triggers are found a remediation plan should be developed and implemented as soon as possible. See the IAQ Tools for Schools Kit for assistance.
World Asthma Day is an annual event organized by the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) to improve asthma awareness and care around the world. World Asthma Day 2010 will take place on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.
As World Asthma Day gets closer, you’ll find a wide variety of information about World Asthma Day, including advice and resources for activity planning, and a listing of World Asthma Day events in your area and around the world.