School Involvement

Only limited involvement with the Schools was mentioned.  We are looking in the Albany NY area to focus attention in schools serving our high asthma impact geographic areas (hospital admissions, readmissions, and ED visits), since the schools:

  • Represent a high density of out of control asthmatics (particularly Elementary schools)
  • Provide another communications link between health providers, parents, and students for coordination
  • Have an environment where the children spend 1/3 of their life for trigger mitigation (apply healthy homes concepts to health schools), and
  • Have a public responsibility/accountability for the building

We also have Medicaid Waiver funding available over the next 6 years to address these issues.

What would be your priorities to address asthma in our Schools based on your experiences?

We currently have an EPA Indoor Air Quality grant for schools in addition to our ashtma Healthy Homes program.

I would suggest that these be some of the priorities ( my staff would know more)

Have an asthma action plan on file for each child

Refer children to any available Healthy Homes program

Train staff re: asthma and how to respond to asthma attacks

Refer schools to EPA's tools for schools website - lots of great information.

Some common issues we have found as a result of school assessments include:

  • HVAC is overtaxed, schools too crowded, relpace filters, check air flow/intake etc
  • CO2 levels too high - buy a meter and test regularly
  • Air freshners and other cleaning products in classroom ( un authorized)
  • Encourage safety committee walk throughs using EPA's checklists
  • ETS and other smells stemming from clothes
  • Mobile classrooms degrade quickly
  • External Air Quality issues