Managing Asthma in Child Care Centers in New York State 

Asthma is a leading chronic illness among children and youth in the United States and a leading cause of school absenteeism. Asthma may limit a child’s ability to learn, sleep, and play. Uncontrolled asthma results in increased numbers of visits to the doctor and emergency room. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalizations among children under 15, and even higher for children under 5. Asthma affects children of all ages, races, and income levels but is more common in African-Americans, Latinos, and those who live in poverty.

Teachers, coaches, day care providers, and educators can play important roles in helping children manage their asthma.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

How Asthma-Friendly Is Your Child Care Center?

Children with asthma need to be in healthy school environments that enable their asthma to be under control so that they can thrive, play, and learn.

Is your child care center asthma-friendly? Learn how below...

Creating An Asthma-Friendly Environment in Your Center 

The American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA) have developed a pamphlet that describes steps you can take to create an asthma-friendly environment in your child care center and community.

Briefly, those steps are:
1. Use asthma action plans
2. Take steps to reduce asthma triggers, such as reducing mold, prohibiting bus and car idling, and more
3. Be sure children with asthma have their rescue medications in school
4. Encourage opportunities for physical activity
5. Establish and maintain good communication among you, the parents, and community organizations
6. Provide and/or take advantage of asthma education (we can provide that!)

For more detailed information and to download the pamphlets in English and Spanish, please see the links below:

AASA - In the Schoolyard and Beyond Pamphlet (English)
AASA - In the Schoolyard and Beyond Pamphlet (Spanish)

Screening Children for Asthma Risk 

It is challenging to correctly diagnose asthma in children ages 0-4. Oftentimes, children in that age group who have asthma are undiagnosed or wrongly diagnosed with other respiratory conditions.

Here is a tool, the Brief Respiratory Questionnaire (BRQ), which can be used by the child care program nurse to screen children for risk of asthma. You can conduct the survey with a parent about their child. If the parent answers “yes” to any of the questions #4 through #7, then the child may have asthma and should be referred to their physician for a diagnostic assessment.

Brief Respiratory Questionnaire (English)
Brief Respiratory Questionnaire (Spanish)

Contact the Hudson Valley Asthma Coalition for help in implementing asthma management strategies in your Child Care Center!