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CSA Partners with Children’s Health Fund in Asthma Initiative

09/20/2013

Ensuring that children have the proper medical forms on file at school is a national challenge. Children's Health Fund has teamed up with the New York City Council of School Administrators (CSA) to tackle the problem, and now the CSA's parent union -- the American Federation of School Administrators -- has featured the campaign in its fall newsletter.

Here's how the story begins:

At least 70,000 schoolchildren in New York City have asthma, according to the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Student Health. Only half of these children have medication forms on file, which means many children with asthma are not treated by a school nurse in the event of an emergency. CSA President Ernest Logan explains why the Council of School Administrators (CSA) is tackling this issue with the Children’s Health Fund (CHF).

The onset of an asthma attack is terrifying to the sick child, upsetting to classmates and stressful for teachers and administrators. Of course, asthma is just one medical problem that causes so many problems at schools, especially among children of low-income families. Some children don’t have the eyeglasses they need to see the blackboard. Others have never been to a dentist. Chronic headaches and stomach-aches can be symptoms of overwhelmed children struggling to cope with trauma in their lives or distress from having basic needs unmet.

When I was a middle school principal, my heart sank weekly when we were forced to call an ambulance for a child with asthma. In many of our classrooms, particularly in schools serving children from very-low-income families, educators and health practi- tioners have seen how undiagnosed and untreated health problems affect students and the learning environment in dramatic ways. Read more