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 and with the majority of states having laws allowing students to self carry and administer medication, 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.