Did you know that 13 million school days are missed each year due to asthma? Or that an average of one out of every 10 school-aged child has asthma?
Asthma cost the US about $3,300 per person with asthma each year from 2002 to 2007 in medical expenses, missed school and work days, and early deaths. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than half (59%) of children and one-third (33%) of adults who had an asthma attack missed school or work because of asthma in 2008. On average, children with asthma missed four days of school per year.
Making schools, inside and outside, asthma-friendly environments is easier than most people think. Something as simple as disallowing smoking on school grounds and removing plants from classrooms can make a world of difference.
One of the best steps a school or school system can take is to appoint an Indoor Air Quality Coordinator or committee to tackle the changes and updates to be made inside and outside a campus.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created a Tools for Schools Action Kit that guides teachers and administrators, maintenance and food service workers, school nurses and others through the easy steps each can take to ensure a healthy breathing environment for all students.
For Teachers Checklist Backgrounder
For Administrative Staff Checklist Backgrounder
For School Officials Checklist Backgrounder
For Building/Grounds Maintenance Checklist Backgrounder
For Food Service Checklist Backgrounder
For School Nurse/Health Officer Checklist Backgrounder
For Pest Management Checklist Backgrounder
For Waste Management Checklist Backgrounder
You can download additional documents or request a complete toolkit at the EPA’s Tools For Schools Action Kit website. This valuable resource can make a significant difference in the well-being of those students who have asthma. By taking these suggested steps, we can reduce student absenteeism and promote healthier air quality throughout Indiana.
Other helpful resources and information:
Chemicals in School
Indoor Swimming Pools