When your child has asthma, it is important to work with the school to assure your child's greatest chance for success at school. There are two important ways that the parent can help a student with asthma.
1) Keep the school medical informed about your child's health.
2) Join the school's Parent Association.
Informing the School
If the school does not know your child's symptoms, medications, triggers, and location of inhaler, you may be putting your child at risk, both medically and academically.
Here are some ways to help the school help your child with asthma.
Explain your child's asthma to all his/her teachers. It is very important that the physical education teacher understands exercise-induced asthma and can offer alternative activities on days when symptoms are possible.
Ensure all required school medical forms are up-to-date and filed in the school medical office. NYC children with asthma need a yearly Medication Administration Form (MAF) that names their kind of asthma medicine, how much to take, the location of their inhaler and--if indicated by a doctor's and parent or guardian's signature--permission to self-carry and self-administer medicine.
Inform the school of any medicines your child requires while taking part in visits, outings or field trips and other out of school hours activities such as school team sports
Keep the school informed about any changes to your child's medication plan, or any changes to your child's health: e.g., if symptoms are getting worse or if there is a pattern of poor sleep.
Ensure your child's takes an inhaler to school, and that it is labelled with his/her name. Keep track that the medicine is within its expiration date. Inform the school if your your child has missed school due to asthma. Ask for help if necessary to ensure catching up on missed school work.
Parent and Parent-Teacher Associations
Make your voice heard about the issues that affect your child and his chances for success at school.
Parent Associations (PAs) and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) are the main way for parents to get involved in their children’s schools. NYC PA/PTAs are school-based organizations open to all parents, foster parents, and legally appointed guardians of children currently attending a NYC public school.
The PA/PTA should be representative of the parents within its school: including parents of special education students and English language learners, as well as students eligible for Title I, gifted and talented services, and magnet programs.
The PA/PTA helps parents become involved in their children’s education, share ideas, and enrich their school communities. While the specific roles of PA/PTAs vary, among their responsibilities are electing parent members to serve on the Asthma Support Team, School Leadership Team and Community Education Council, conducting outreach to get other parents involved in school life, and supporting school activities like Parent-Teacher Conferences, open houses, curriculum nights, School Walk-Arounds, and District Family Day events. Each PA develops its own bylaws, elects officers, and holds regular meetings.
All parents are automatically members of their school’s PA/PTA. For more specific information on how to get involved, ask your school principal