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Douglas County Named One of Five Georgia Asthma Friendly School Systems

DCSS STAR logo FINALThe Douglas County School System is now one of five school systems across the state committed to adopting asthma-friendly policies and procedures designed to serve students living with asthma. Asthma is a chronic lung condition that inflames and narrows the airways of more than 6 million children in the United States. There is no cure for asthma, but it treatable and controllable.

Asthma-Friendly Schools provide a safe and healthy environment that reduces asthma triggers and maximizes the health, quality of life, and educational outcomes of all children. All Douglas County Schools now support asthma self-management in children by adopting asthma-friendly policies and procedures. This includes coordinating communication with physicians, school personnel, children with asthma and their families, and by providing asthma education for students and staff.

The asthma-friendly school designation follows a recent Douglas County school meeting where a parent whose child suffers from severe allergies inquired about the availability of epinephrine in the event of a severe allergic reaction at school. Her inquiry prompted school officials to look into the availability of epinephrine. Stocking epinephrine for allergic reactions and albuterol for asthma attacks can be a life-saving strategy for asthma management in school settings.

After some research, school officials reached out to the Cobb & Douglas Health Department (CDPH), the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia Asthma Coalition to secure training for school nurses and health monitors to administer emergency asthma medications.

Douglas County School System Superintendent Trent North sought resources to stock epinephrine and albuterol.  “Being prepared is critical for asthma emergencies. By ensuring our schools have emergency supplies of stock albuterol on site, we can keep all children with asthma safe.”

Nancy McCready, RN, health services coordinator for the Douglas County School System, contacted Cobb & Douglas Public Health and the Georgia Department of Education for support in creating an asthma-friendly environment. The Georgia Asthma Coalition provided training to properly administer albuterol in case of an emergency and also helped the school system successfully apply for a free source of EpiPens through the EpiPen4Schools program.

Because of that effort, out of 181 school systems in Georgia, Douglas County School System now joins Cobb County Schools, Coffee County Schools, Forsyth County Schools and Ware County Schools fully equipped to help asthmatic students in Georgia.

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