Asthma Policy

Rationale

Asthma affects many primary school aged children and can be life-threatening.  It is important therefore for all staff members to be aware of asthma, its symptoms and triggers, and the management of asthma in a school environment.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to manage asthma and asthma suffers as effectively and efficiently as possible at St Michael’s, and to continue to meet the requirements of Asthma Friendly Schools (AFS) accreditation.

Definitions

Asthma attacks involve the narrowing of airways making it difficult to breathe.  Symptoms commonly include difficulty breathing, wheezy breathing, dry and irritating cough, tightness in the chest and difficulty speaking.  Severe asthma sufferers may require daily or additional medication particularly after exercise.

Implementation

  • Asthma education is provided for all St Michael’s staff
  • Asthma Action Plans for each student are actively encouraged and kept in a central location
  • Asthma First Aid posters are on display in staff areas, First Aid areas, Sick Bay and Staff Diary.
  • Students with asthma are encouraged to have their medications readily and are safely stored at all times. These are clearly labelled with the student’s name.
  • A plan is in place for managing asthma during school sporting activities, excursions and camps
  • A blue reliever puffer and spacer device are available for emergency use at school and are always taken on an excursion by class teachers in the asthma pack.
  • Details of student’s asthma action plans are taken by class teacher every time a class or group of students leaves the school.
  • Asthma related information is provided through the school to parents/carers that contributes to the quality of life, health outcomes and well being for their children
  • Asthma Friendly Schools Program teaching resources are used as part of St Michael’s health curriculum.
  • St Michael’s policy is to require students to use a spacer device when taking their asthma medication.
  • The asthma emergency kit must include:
  1. A blue reliever puffer for first aid use.  Students should provide their own medication for their usual asthma management although a spacer device from the asthma emergency kit can be used with the student's own medication.
  2. A spacer device, to assist with effective inhalation of the blue reliever medication.
  3. Clear, written instructions on how to use these medications and devices, plus the steps to be taken in treating an acute asthma attack as described on the AFS poster.
  4. 70% alcohol swabs to clean devices after use.
  • St Michael’s strives to minimize potential asthma triggers within the school environment.
  • Blue reliever puffers are extremely safe even if the student does not have asthma therefore if a student is having difficulty breathing at school and is not known to have pre-existing asthma administer 4 separate puffs of a blue reliever puffer via a spacer and call an ambulance immediately.

Resources

Evaluation

This policy will be reviewed as part of St Michael’s five-year review cycle or as required.

Ratification

This policy was last ratified in  2011.