There are several steps parents can take to work with their schools and make sure that there is a plan in place to deal with asthma flare-ups. The Asthma Network notes that the best ways to do this include:
- Knowing the pertinent state law in regards to self-carrying and being aware of rights under federal law.
- Assessing the child with the Student Readiness Assessment developed by the American Lung Association. This is an online tool to determine the student's ability to understand asthma, recognize the symptoms of a flare-up and properly self-administer a quick-acting inhaler.
- Meeting with the school nurse and/or school administration to develop an asthma action plan; this should include the medication a child is using, the circumstances under which a child should self-administer, and emergency contact information for parents. Many schools will require this plan to be signed off by the child's doctor. This plan needs to be shared with the child's teachers, coaches and other involved staff.
In short, allowing a child with asthma to self-carry when they are in school can be a complicated issue. However, in many cases, open communication between the school, parents and physician can help to develop a plan to support the unique needs of an asthmatic student and ensure a healthy, nurturing environment in which students can flourish.