Managing Asthma in Schools: The Importance of Paediatric First Aid Training

Managing Asthma in Schools

Managing Asthma in Schools: The Importance of Paediatric First Aid Training


Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that affects millions of children worldwide making it difficult to manage asthma in schools.  It is crucial for educational settings to create a safe and supportive environment for students with asthma, where they can manage their condition effectively.  In this blog post, we will explore the significance of paediatric first aid training in dealing with asthma emergencies and asthma attacks in educational settings.

Understanding Asthma

Asthma is a condition characterised by inflammation and narrowing of the airways, resulting in symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness.  It is vital for educators, school staff, and parents to have a comprehensive understanding of asthma, its triggers, and appropriate management strategies.

Creating an Asthma-Friendly School Environment:

  1. Knowledge Dissemination:  Educate school staff, teachers, and students about asthma, its symptoms, triggers, and treatment options.  Raise awareness to reduce stigma and promote a supportive atmosphere for students with asthma.
  2. Individual Asthma Action Plans:  Collaborate with parents, healthcare professionals, and the student’s primary care provider to create and implement personalised asthma action plans.  These plans outline the student’s specific asthma triggers, symptoms, medications, and emergency contact information.
  3. Asthma Triggers:  Identify and minimise potential asthma triggers within the school environment, such as dust, pollen, mould, and strong odours. Implement proper ventilation systems, regular cleaning routines, and policies to maintain air quality.
  4. Medication Management:  Establish clear guidelines and protocols for administering asthma medications.  Ensure that students have easy access to their inhalers and other prescribed medications when needed.  Encourage students to take their medications as prescribed and provide a designated area for safe storage.

The Role of Paediatric First Aider: The Paediatric first aider plays a crucial role in ensuring the safety and well-being of students with asthma.  

Here are some key reasons why it is essential for school staff to undergo paediatric first aid training:

  1. Recognising Asthma Emergencies:  Paediatric first aid training equips educators and staff with the knowledge to identify the signs and symptoms of an asthma attack or other respiratory emergencies promptly.  Early recognition can help prevent the situation from worsening.
  2. Administering Emergency Medications:  Training empowers school personnel to administer asthma medications, such as reliever inhalers or epinephrine (in severe cases), in accordance with a student’s asthma action plan.  This prompt action can be life-saving during an asthma emergency.
  3. Implementing First Aid Techniques:  Paediatric first aid training equips school staff with essential skills, such as proper positioning to aid breathing, calming techniques, and the ability to assist with inhaler use.  These techniques can provide immediate relief to a student experiencing an asthma attack.
  4. Emergency Preparedness:  Paediatric first aid training emphasises preparedness, ensuring that school staff are well-equipped to handle emergency situations confidently.  This includes knowledge of emergency contacts, communication protocols, and the steps to take in case of a severe asthma attack.

Treatment for an Asthma in Schools

During an asthma attack, it is important to act quickly to help the person experiencing the attack.  

Here is a description of the treatment for an asthma attack using your paediatric first aid training skills:

  1. Stay Calm:  It is essential to remain calm and reassure the person having the asthma attack.  Anxiety and panic can exacerbate the symptoms.
  2. Assist the Person:  Help the person sit upright in a comfortable position, as this can aid breathing.  Loosen any tight clothing around their neck or chest to reduce restrictions.
  3. Use a Reliever Inhaler:  If the person has a prescribed reliever inhaler, assist them in using it.  Typically, a reliever inhaler contains medication that helps to relax and open up the airways, providing quick relief during an asthma attack. Follow the instructions for administering the inhaler correctly.
  4. Monitor Breathing:  Keep a close eye on the person’s breathing.  If their condition worsens, and they are struggling to speak, have a bluish tinge to their lips or face, or if their inhaler is not providing relief, it may be necessary to seek emergency medical assistance.
  5. Call for Medical Help:  If the person’s symptoms do not improve or if they are experiencing severe difficulty in breathing, it is important to call emergency services immediately or ask someone else to do so.  Describe the situation clearly, mentioning that the person is having an asthma attack.
  6. Stay with the Person:  Stay with the person until medical help arrives.  Reassure them and provide any necessary assistance, such as fetching their emergency medication or helping them use a spacer device/peak flow meter if available.
  7. Follow Emergency Action Plan:  If the person having the asthma attack has an asthma action plan, follow the specific instructions outlined in it.  This plan may include additional steps or medication recommendations for managing severe asthma attacks.

Remember, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly if the person’s condition does not improve or if they are experiencing a severe asthma attack.  Timely intervention and proper medical care can help ensure the person’s safety and well-being.

Conclusion for Asthma in Schools

Dealing with asthma in schools requires a collaborative effort from school staff, parents, healthcare professionals, and the students themselves.  Paediatric first aid training plays a vital role in empowering school personnel to respond effectively during asthma emergencies.  By creating an asthma-friendly school environment and investing in training programs, we can ensure the safety and well-being of students with asthma, allowing them to thrive in their educational journey.

Here at The Training Centre we deliver two types of paediatric first aid training; the first type is online paediatric first aid training and the second type is Ofsted approved Paediatric First Aid Training in Bedfordshire, Paediatric First Aid Training in Hertfordshire and Paediatric First Aid Training in Hemel Hempstead.