Asthma at School

Give Your Child with Asthma a Good Start in School

It is important that parents and school staff work together for the health and education of your child. As the child’s parent, you know the most about your child. Here are some things that may be helpful when working with the school. Remember the school wants the best for your child.

According to the Illinois School Code, all children, regardless of age, are allowed to self-carry and self-administer their prescribed asthma medications with written authorization from the caregiver. Parents and guardians must provide:

  • the school written authorization for self-administer and/or self-carry (check with your school about their form), and
  • the prescription label with the name of the medication, prescribed dosage, the times and circumstances under which the medication is to be given.

**Important to note: physician signature is no longer required, and cannot be required on forms.

Make sure you visit your child’s medical provider and give the school an updated asthma action plan for your child each year. Also make sure that all necessary health-related forms are returned to the school (check with your school about required forms).

Your Child May Be Entitled to a 504 Plan

  • A 504 Plan is a legal, written document that protects your child’s rights at school.
  • Meet with the school nurse, school case manager and the teacher and develop a 504 plan.
  • Tell them your child has asthma and the conditions that affect learning.
  • Provide them with information about the medicine your child takes.
  • Educate them about your child’s asthma.
Below is a brochure to learn how a 504 Plan can help your child with asthma along with a request form:


Asthma and Cold and Flu Season

Flu shots are recommended for children with asthma. Attention to good hand washing and general good health habits, such as plenty of rest and a healthy diet are important at all times but especially during cold and flu seasons.

Your child can go to school if he/she has a stuffy nose but no wheezing; a little wheezing that goes away after taking medicine; an easy time breathing; or a peak flow in the green zone and can do usual activities.

Your child should stay home from school if she wheezes and coughs 1 hour after taking medicine; has a respiratory infection; a sore throat or painful neck glands; a fever over 100F by mouth; difficultly breathing or fast breathing; a peak flow that is low and the medicine is not helping; or she is so weak or tired that it makes it hard to get dressed and eat breakfast.

Asthma and Exercise

  • Some children have asthma only when they exercise or play hard.
  • Most children with asthma are affected by exercise. This does not mean that your child should not take gym class or play sports.
  • Use of medicine 20 minutes before gym class or exercise may prevent asthma symptoms.
  • When asthma signs are present the child should have the chance to stop and rest.
  • Activities suggested for the child with asthma are: swimming, walking, bicycling and sports or games with stop and start running such as baseball, volleyball, football, tennis, golfing, and short distance track and field events.