Asthma is the number one chronic illness of students in the Waterbury School District.
The Waterbury School Nurses are taking on asthma, using new standardized forms as a powerful weapon in their fight against poorly-controlled asthma among school children.
The new standardized forms combine an asthma action plan with the permission form for the use of asthma medications in schools. The new forms were adopted for use by the School Nurses as of January 1, 2018 and have been being introduced to area educational and healthcare leaders since then. The standardized forms are a key component in the School Nurses’ new core of specialty services for students with asthma.
Number of students with asthma per complete physical exam, child’s health record, or physician Rx order: 4,332
Looking at the Numbers: Asthma in Waterbury
There are currently 4,332 students diagnosed with Asthma in Waterbury schools. Last year Waterbury School Nurses administered asthma rescue inhalers to students 10,241 times and nebulizer treatments 260 times.
Our goal is to increase the availability and use of Asthma Action Plans by doctors, parents and school caretakers as they are so helpful to controlling Asthma and ensuring children are safe, healthy and ready to learn.
What is an Asthma Action Plan?
- A written plan (also sometimes called an asthma management plan) developed by their physician to help the person with asthma to control their asthma
- Provides instructions for daily treatment, such as what kind of medicines to take and when to take them
- Describes how to control asthma long term and how to handle worsening asthma, or attacks
- Explains when to call the doctor or go to the emergency room.
How to best care for your child with Asthma at school?
Step One: Download the Asthma Action Plan for your child.
Step Two: Have your child’s Asthma Action Plan filled out by your child’s pediatrician or a health center doctor.
Step Three: Bring the filled-out Asthma Action Plan to your child’s school nurse.
Step Four: Apply to the Putting on Airs program for your child (or for you, as an adult, if you have asthma).
The Putting on Airs Program
Putting on AIRS is a home visit program intended to help children and adults with poorly-controlled asthma. It is a free program funded by the Connecticut Department of Public Health and lead regionally – in Waterbury, Greater Waterbury and beyond — by Waterbury Health Department.
The program provides three home visits by a Respiratory Therapist for one-on-one asthma education. Home visits are available days, evenings and weekends, and certified medical translation is available. In addition, the program provides a Healthy Homes Assessment to identify environmental factors in the home that can trigger asthma attacks.
This program can assist anyone who has a diagnosis of asthma, and whose asthma is considered poorly controlled because of the following:
- one or more Emergency Room visits for asthma
- hospitalizations or unscheduled medical visits within the past 6 months due to asthma
- has missed two or more school days in the past year due to asthma
- visits the school nurse’s office more than two time per week due to asthma
- has used three rescue inhaler canisters in six months
- has activity limitations due to asthma.