Asthma and Anaphylaxis Preparedness in K-12 Schools
Monday, March 5, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Alice E.W. Hoyt, MD, Jesse Persily, Jennifer Goertz, Kate Donowitz, MD, Thamiris Palacios, DO, Morgan Richey, Mark Conaway
RATIONALE: Asthma accounts for more than 10 million days of missed school every year, and more than 15% of children with food allergy have a reaction at school. Despite the broad reach of these diseases, many K-12 schools lack the clinician-to-classroom bridge to help improve care for these children. That bridge begins with assessing the state of asthma and allergy management in the schools.

METHODS: Two school systems (34 schools) were invited to complete an assessment on asthma and food allergy management in their schools. The assessment was completed in the first school system via Excel spreadsheet, then the assessment was refined and adapted into Qualtrics software for the second school system. The questions were completed by school nurses; information had been provided to school nurses through paper and electronic submission of health information by students’ parents.

RESULTS: 31 schools submitted information on a total of 15,191 students. 652 students (4.3%) had reported food allergies. 5.5% of students had reported asthma (30 schools reporting). At school, 50.1% of students with food allergy had epinephrine auto-injectors and 40.8% of students with food and/or venom allergies had an anaphylaxis action plans; 46.8% of asthmatics had inhalers and 20.9% had an asthma action plans. Socioeconomic demographics were not associated with the number of children who had at-school epinephrine auto-injectors, inhalers, or emergency action plans.

CONCLUSIONS: Schools would benefit from physician support in preparing for asthma and allergy emergencies. Physicians can provide support to schools through collaboration on education, beginning to bridge the clinic to the classroom.