Asthma and School

Asthma causes more missed school days than any other chronic illness. Asthma problems reach a peak each year, about the third week of September. This peak is caused by the spread of cold or flu viruses, and by the increase in outdoor mold and weed pollen.

Asthma and School

Always keep asthma in Good Control! Use Controller medicine as prescribed. Some children may need to use it regularly even during the summer. Prevent getting or spreading colds by washing hands often, coughing into your elbow and staying home if you are sick. Follow your Asthma Action Plan if worsening symptoms appear. See your doctor if you do not have an Asthma Action Plan.


Parent Duties

  • At the start of the school year, meet with the teacher and principal to talk about your child’s asthma symptoms, medicines, and triggers.
  • Talk about asthma triggers in the classroom or the gym (eg. animals, dust, strong odours and exercise).
  • Show how to give your child’s medicine correctly .
  • Review the school’s health plan for managing your child’s asthma problems. Make sure it fits with your child’s Asthma Action Plan.
  • Check to be sure your child can keep their Reliever medicine with them at all times. Make sure your child can take Reliever medicine whenever needed.
  • Ask about field trips that may affect your child’s asthma. Most trips can be safe with good planning.
  • Ask your child’s teacher to tell you if your child has asthma problems on the playground, in gym or in the classroom.

Physical Activity at School

  • Exercise is important for all children, especially children with asthma.
  • Children with asthma should be able to take part in the same activities as other children, as long as asthma is under control.
  • If your child has asthma problems during physical activity, their asthma is not controlled.
  • It is okay to take Reliever medicine 10-15 minutes before exercise once a day to prevent asthma symptoms.
  • Tell the gym teacher if your child has a cold, is having asthma problems or needs their reliever medicine before exercise.

Some children may have difficulty exercising outside:

  • In cold weather
  • When pollen counts are high in spring and fall
  • With outdoor molds in spring and fall
  • When smoke is the air
  • On windy, dusty days


Helping Your Child at School

  • Talk regularly with your child and their teachers to find out if your child has any problems with asthma at school.
  • Make sure Reliever medicine is available. Keep track of how often your child takes it.
  • Speak to your doctor if your child needs their Reliever medicine for symptoms more than 3 times a week.
  • Keep asthma under control so your child can live a healthy, active life!