Everyone can play a role creating an asthma-friendly school environment!
No matter your role or relationship to the school or school system, you can contribute as an individual as well as a team member. A team approach ensures that there is coordination and strategy in asthma-friendly efforts, and that all aspects of the school environment are addressed. Anyone can take the lead in forming a team, but administration support is key, as is getting buy-in from those who need to help make implementation happen.
Teachers: Play a key role in managing the environment of the classroom by utilizing asthma-friendly practices, such as using green cleaners, making sure that food and snacks are served and stored to minimize access to pests, managing classroom clutter, and reporting problems.
School nurses: Take the lead in the clinical management of a child’s asthma, including advising teachers on asthma triggers and a healthy classroom environment, and communicating the benefits of an asthma-friendly environment.
Facilities managers and custodians: Coordinate with other school staff on minimizing clutter and food service/cleanup in the classroom, take the lead in the safe and proper use of cleaning products, manage integrated pest management, and ensure that the building structure keeps pests and moisture out, while keeping healthy air flowing.
Administrators: Demonstrate support and implement asthma-friendly policies and practice, create and support systems for a healthy environment, help to secure resources to support asthma-friendly efforts, and communicate the benefits of an asthma-friendly environment.
Parents and community members: Play a key role in advocating for healthy policies and practices, supporting school staff in implementing asthma-friendly policies and practices through volunteering and advising, and communicating to other parents the benefits of an asthma-friendly environment.
Students: Play a key role in increasing awareness of environmental health issues, educating the school community about the benefits of asthma-friendly policies and practices, and helping staff and peers understand how they can contribute to a healthy school building.