New Report Breathes Concern into Florida’s School Asthma Practices

A recent report about the lack of asthma support in Florida schools may cause parents statewide to gasp. According to the “2016 State Honor Roll” from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Florida schools are failing to protect children with asthma and allergies. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that Florida schools have failed to take the proper measures regarding school nurse availability, air quality management, and smoking policies. As a result, there are insufficient resources for helping children who show asthma symptoms or responding to cases of asthma attack. Since asthma affects almost 10% of schoolchildren in the U.S. and is one of the leading reasons for children’s school absences and hospitalizations, MD Now Urgent Care warns that parents won’t be able to breathe easy until Florida improves its school policies to protect children who suffer from symptoms of asthma and allergies.

The AAFA’s report displayed which states in America had the best public policies for schoolchildren who suffer from symptoms of asthma and allergies. Sadly, Florida was far from the top of the list. In fact, only 15 states met the high standards required for approval on the organization’s “honor roll.” Florida met only 16 of the 23 measures required for asthma protection. States had to achieve 18 of these measures in order to score AAFA approval. The first and only state to meet all 23 measures was Connecticut.

Schools Ailing for Registered Nurses

Both the AAFA and MD Now are extremely worried about Florida’s lack of protection for children that exhibit asthma symptoms and severe allergies. One of the main areas of concern is the insufficient number of school nurses. Surprisingly, Florida does not require the recommended 1 to 750 ratio of nurses-to-students. Instead, recent data from the Florida Department of Health showed that only one out of every three Florida schools has a registered nurse on staff at all.

So what happens if children in one of these nurse-less schools suffer an asthma attack or display asthma symptoms and don’t have their asthma inhalers nearby? These schools have no protective measures in place to help these children and possibly save their lives.

Schools Suffer from Other Problems

The report also found that Florida schools lack the policies for maintaining the proper indoor air quality. This is especially problematic in the state’s many older schools that are highly prone to mold, which only worsens breathing problems. And since asthmatic children often lose or forget their asthma inhalers, parents need to be assured that their child’s school won’t be the cause of an asthma attack.

Florida’s lack of a statewide ban on smoking on school grounds also contributed to the state’s low rankings in the report. Even though most Florida school districts are currently smoke-free, the state needs to put a strict smoking policy in place.

MD Now hopes that the findings from this report alert parents of children with asthma to this pressing problem in the state’s schools. Parents should ask their child’s school about their policies regarding asthma and allergies and encourage them to correct any shortcomings and make sure they have Florida School medication form (available at MD Now locations) filled out. If a child suffers an asthma or allergy attack, parents can feel completely confident bringing their child to their nearest MD Now location for the urgent care their child needs.

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