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Creating Asthma-Friendly Schools: Free Tools and Resources


An average of one out of every 13 school-age children has asthma.


Asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism.


10.5 million school days were missed in 2008 due to asthma.


Asthma can be controlled through medical treatment and management of environmental triggers.

In DC, the Student Access to Treatment Act of 2007 (DC Law 17-107) (PDF: 42 KB/6 pages) and its Interim Guidelines (PDF: 50 KB/5 pages) permit public, charter, private, a parochial school students with a valid medication action plan to possess and self-administer lifesaving asthma or anaphylaxis medications at school, or to be administered such medications by a trained and certified school employee or agent.

Please download and use the free tools and resources available below, including a school emergency response poster, medication action plan forms, and the Managing Asthma and Allergies in DC Schools: A Comprehensive Resource and Educational Guide developed by NCAC in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Center for Children's Health and the Environment (see additional Acknowledgements below).

Download Managing Asthma and Allergies in DC Schools: A Comprehensive Resource and Educational Guide (PDF: 5,272 KB/228 pages),  The guide offers information on managing asthma, allergies, and anaphylaxis, including relevant laws, sample policies, and forms; guidance for emergency management of asthma and anaphylaxis; and recommendations, checklists, and classroom posters. The final resource section features a detailed list of available tools and information and a glossary of key terms.

In addition, download the Managing Asthma and Allergies in DC Schools Evaluation Report (PDF: 588 KB/48 pages) summarizing the October 18 and 19, 2007 trainings conducted by the National Capital Asthma Coalition (NCAC) for 182 DC school principals and staff.


Download the DC School Asthma/Anaphylaxis Emergency Poster (PDF: 311 KB/1 page)  endorsed by the DC Department of Health and DC Public Schools. Fill out this 8.5x11 inch poster with the names of staff members in your school who are trained and certified to administer medication to students and print copies to post in classrooms, hallways, and other school-related settings.


Download the DC Asthma Action Plan and DC Anaphylaxis Action Plan (PDF: 1.3 MB/4 pages) forms endorsed by the DC Department of Health to fulfill the requirements for administration, and student self-administration, of asthma and anaphylaxis medication under DC's Student Access to Treatment Act of 2007 (PDF: 42 KB/6 pages).


NEW: Download or order Asthma & Physical Activity in the School (revised in April 2012) from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This easy-to-read booklet for teachers, coaches, and families discusses how to help students control their asthma and follow an asthma action plan. It also explains how to manage asthma triggers, ensure students have access to their asthma medicines, recognize worsening asthma symptoms and take action, and modify activities based on a child’s asthma status. The booklet includes sample asthma action plans and information about using a peak flow meter, metered-dose inhaler, and dry powder inhaler. 





Asthma & Anaphylaxis First Aid in the School Setting (PDF: 15 KB/1 page)

Rules of Two® - When is Quick Relief for Asthma Not Enough? (PDF: 81 KB/1 page)


DC Asthma Action Plan Form (available in English and Spanish)

DC Anaphylaxis Action Plan Form  developed by DC Department of Health (PDF: 1.3 MB/4 pages)

Athlete Data & Emergency Treatment Information Form - DC Public Schools (PDF: 55 KB/1 page)


School Management Plan Worksheet (PDF: 97 KB/1 page)

(fill out worksheet by hand or on your computer then print and save)

Sample Plan for a School Asthma (& Anaphylaxis) Program (PDF: 73 KB/2 pages)

Sample Healthy Learning Environment Plan (PDF: 126 KB/ 3 pages)

How Asthma-Friendly is Your School? Checklist (PDF: 55 KB/1 page)

CDC School Health Index - a free self-assessment and planning guide

EPA Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Tools for Schools - get a free Action Kit for low-cost strategies to improve IAQ

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The Managing Asthma and Allergies in DC Schools program is funded wholly, or in part, by the Government of the District of Columbia, Department of Health, Community Health Administration, Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant, and District of Columbia Control Asthma Now (DC CAN) Program. We also gratefully acknowledge the additional funding support provided by: AMERIGROUP District of Columbia, DC Chartered Health Plan, Health Right, Inc., The HSC Foundation, and National Capital Asthma Coalition. Finally, we thank our coalition partners, the Minnesota Department of Health Asthma Program, and a host of other organizations and state and federal agencies that shared with us their materials, guidance, and experiences for this guide.

Selected School Resources


How Asthma-Friendly Is Your School? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

¿Su escuela tiene en cuenta a los niños con asma? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Strategies, Guidelines, and Tools:

Asthma-Friendly Schools Initiative (American Lung Association) includes comprehensive toolkit.

Asthma Resource Portal (American School Health Association) includes webinars for school nurses and other tools.

Breathe At School (Allergy and Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics) includes asthma-related state and federal laws, poster, and school kit.

NEW: CDC's Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers, developed in fulfillment of the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to improve food safety in the United States.

CDC Science-Based Strategies includes Strategies for Addressing Asthma Within a Coordinated School Health Program with concrete suggestions for schools working to improve the health and school attendance of students with asthma; School Health Index to help schools implement school health guidelines and strategies; etc.

Managing Asthma in Minnesota Schools Manual - includes separate asthma modules for school administrators and other school staff, i.e., teachers, counselors, custodians, secretaries, nutritionists, bus drivers, etc.

Managing Asthma in Schools—What Have We Learned? Journal of School Health Special Issue (Free), August 2006

National Association of State Boards of Education Fit, Healthy, and Ready to Learn, Part III : Policies on Asthma, School Health Services, and Healthy Environments includes best-practice policy language that can be adapted to fit local circumstances, full explanations, excerpts of actual state and local policies, notable quotations, and lists of key resources and organizations.

When Should Students With Asthma or Allergies Carry and Self-Administer Emergency Medications at School? (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Resolution on Asthma Management at School (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

SchoolAsthmaAllergy.com (Schering-Plough) provides useful tools and information.

School Guidelines for Managing Students with Food Allergies (Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, etc.)

School Health Resources (American Academy of Pediatrics, Section on School Health)

Tools for Effective Asthma Management in Schools (Los Angeles Unified School District) includes free online training and useful tools.

Educational Resources:

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (click on "Education")

Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids initiatives, fact sheets, media, reports, and events, including Kick Butts Day and Youth Advocates of the Year Awards.

Celebra la Ciencia (Self-Reliance Foundation) science activities and opportunities for Hispanic/Latino youth.

EPA Asthma Materials (Environmental Protection Agency) order free asthma-related publications and resources.

Open Airways for Schools (American Lung Association) is an asthma management program for schoolchildren aged 8-11 who have been diagnosed with asthma.

STARBRIGHT School Asthma Program  to order Quest for the Code CD-ROM on asthma (in English and Spanish) for ages 7-15 and School Implementation Guide.

School Nurses:

Allergy and Asthma Tool Kit for School Nurses (AAAAI, AAP, Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network)

Results of the Asthma Awareness Survey Report (pdf, 182KB) and Press Release (pdf, 57KB) (ALA, NASN)

National Association of School Nurses asthma-related position statements and issue briefs.


National Athletic Trainers’ Association Position Statement: Management of Asthma in Athletes (pdf, 602KB)

Winning with Asthma - a free 30-minute interactive educational tool for coaches from the Minnesota Department of Health Asthma Program and the Utah Department of Health Asthma Program.

Environmental Asthma Management:

EPA Managing Asthma in the School Environment (links to useful tools)

EPA Teaching Center (curriculum resources, materials, workshops)

Green Flag School Program (Center for Health, Environment, & Justice) includes start-up kit and other resources on integrated pest management, indoor air quality, non-toxic products, and recycling.

Selected Child Care Resources

How Asthma-Friendly Is Your Child Care Setting? (NHLBI)

¿Su guardería infantil tiene en cuenta a los niños con asma? (NHLBI)

Asthma and Allergy Essentials for Child Care Providers© (AAFA)

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (click on "Education")

Head Start Caring for Children with Chronic Conditions includes three modules: Module 1: Understanding Chronic Conditions, Module 2: Is This Family Centered?, and Module 3: Putting It All Together: Caring For Children With Asthma.

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For more information, contact: Lisa A. Gilmore
Telephone:  (202) 415-1962 • E-Mail:  lgilmore@natcapasthma.org
The information provided on this website is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of medical advice.
For asthma or any medical condition, individuals should seek medical advice from their health care professional.
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Last modified: 06/07/2016