Back to School and ASTHMA

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Back to School and ASTHMA

Saskatoon, September 18, 2003: As the new school year begins, teachers across Saskatchewan are becoming familiar with a classroom of new faces.  œIt is imperative that families communicate with their child's teacher and school regarding their child's asthma, cautions the Lung Association's VP for Health Initiatives, Jan Haffner.  In a recent study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan and funded by the Lung Association of Saskatchewan, it was found that 16 “ 21% of children in our province have asthma.


Poorly controlled asthma often results in time away from school, sports and other activities and can result in emergency room visits.  According to the Respiratory Disease in Canada Handbook, 2001 edition, the highest rate of hospitalizations for asthma occurs during the third week in September.  Successful asthma management, which includes the proper use of asthma medications, self-management plans, and education should allow school children to participate fully in all school activities, adds Ms. Haffner.

Information that parents should provide to the school and classroom teacher must be updated each year and should include:

  • Child's name, current photo, current grade and class;
  • Emergency contact names and phone numbers where they can be reached during school hours;
  • Medications that the child needs to take during school hours, including rescue medication, how much to take, how often, and where the medication is located;
  • Specific instructions to be followed should the child have an asthma episode;
  • List of specific allergens or irritants that are troublesome for the child and how the child will react if they come in contact with the allergen or irritant.

Our Certified Asthma Educators are available to provide assistance on asthma to parents and teachers during regular office hours by calling 1-888-566-LUNG (5864).  Our Asthma Action Handbook provides comprehensive information on asthma management.  Information for asthma at school is also available online at

The Lung Association is Canada's oldest health charity, helping Canadians to breathe easier since 1900.  We are a non-profit, non-governmental organization that relies on donations from the public and our annual Christmas Seals Campaign to fund our many programs and activities.  You will find the Lung Association active in your community conducting programs on asthma, COPD and sleep apnea, providing training for health professionals, delivering health education in schools, facilitating patient support groups, and lobbying for clean air.  The Lung Association is the premier source for respiratory health initiatives in the province.


For more information contact:

Jan Haffner, VP, Health Initiatives

Bernie Bolley, Health Initiatives Coordinator


When you can't breathe, nothing else matters.ТÐ



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Page Last Updated: 18/09/2003