Children and Asthma

Fact Sheet

Resources for schools and parents from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to help children with asthma.

Back-to-school time is tough for the one child in every 15 who faces the challenge of asthma. Myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes about children with asthma hurt them as much or more than the disease itself.

The problem is growing in schools; the asthma rate is rising more rapidly in preschool-aged children than in any other group. Asthma is the second most common cause of chronic illness in children, after chronic sinusitis.

The following resources are available for schools and parents from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Are you in a high-risk asthma area?

You can find the 100 Health Service Areas with highest asthma mortality in the country at: Select "Resources," then "Asthma Mortality Maps of the U.S. and Local Communities."

How can you help schools in your community become more asthma-friendly?

Find out how asthma-friendly your schools are.

A free, downloadable seven-item questionnaire will help parents and school staff determine how well their school accommodates children with asthma. It will help identify potential sources of problems and provide guidance in making school policies and practices more asthma-friendly.

Get "How Asthma-Friendly Is Your School?" at:

Help teachers and coaches help students with asthma.

An easy-to-read booklet, "Asthma and Physical Activity in the School" (Publication No. 95-3651) is a perfect companion for teachers and coaches who want to help students with asthma participate in sports and physical activities. The booklet covers the causes of asthma, symptoms of an asthma attack, how to avoid and control asthma triggers, how to help students who take medications, and how to modify activities to match children's current asthma status. It also includes a reproducible student asthma action card. Order it at:

Integrate asthma awareness into the school's curriculum.

"Asthma Awareness: Curriculum for the Elementary Classroom" (Publication No. 93-2894) was developed for use with elementary school children. These two 30-minute lessons are easily integrated into a comprehensive health education curriculum and/or into science as it relates to body systems and the environment. They can also be integrated into social sciences as they relate to getting along with others and learning about community resources. The lessons include suggestions for math, art, and language arts activities. Order it at:

Additional Resources

For more facts and statistics on asthma in America, go to:

For these and other asthma related educational materials, visit NHLBI's Online Educational Materials Catalog at, or call the NHLBI Information Center at (301) 592-8273.

Page last reviewed October 2014
Page originally created September 2000
Internet Citation: Children and Asthma. Content last reviewed October 2014. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.