The major problem associated with poorly controlled childhood and adolescent asthma is excessive school absences. Not only is valuable school-time lost, 12.9 million missed school days annually, but often a working parent must also stay home to provide the needed care and observation. On the other hand, a child whose asthma is well-controlled is no different than any other student in the school. Students with asthma can function to their potential if their asthma is controlled. With controlled asthma, students have better attendance; improved alertness and physical stamina; more participation in physical activities, sports, and special events; fewer symptoms; and fewer medical emergencies. Parents and schools therefore have a vested interest in helping enhance the “asthma awareness” of those professionals to whom the education of children are entrusted. In that regard, Peak Performance USA is a valuable tool and resource.
Much of the day-to-day responsibility for managing asthma falls on the child and the parents. However, because children spend so much time in school, the staff can, through understanding and cooperation, help the student manage the disease. The active participation by school personnel in a partnership with qualified health care providers, the child and parents, can help the child breathe easier and participate fully in school activities.
Learn more about the chronic disease that creates breathing problems for people of all ages.
Interesting bits of information about the leading chronic childhood disease in America.
Peak Performance USA is a national asthma awareness/school health program.
Peak Performance USA seeks to teach students to manage their illness and lead healthier, more active lives.
Parents, teachers, school nurses, and respiratory therapists are encouraged to join Peak Performance USA.
The American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) gratefully acknowledges the following individuals for their assistance in preparing materials for Peak Performance USA:
Mary K. Hart, BS, RRT, AE-C, Manager, Martha Foster Lung Care Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
Patrick J. Dunne, MEd, RRT, FAARC, President/CEO, HealthCare Productions, Inc. Fullerton, CA
Dominic P. Coppolo, MBA, RRT, FAARC, AE-C, Director Clinical Strategy and Development, Monaghan Medical Corporation, Plattsburgh, New York
Program Materials Adapted from:
Managing Asthma: A Guide for Schools from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, U.S. Department of Education, Revised July 2003 NIH Publication No 02-2650.
National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, U.S Department of Health and Human Services, October 2007, NIH Publication Number 08-5846.
Making a Difference in the Management of Asthma: A Guide for Respiratory Therapists, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Asthma Education and Prevention Program, May 2003, NIH Publication No. 02-1964.