Did you know that over 8,000,000 children in the US have asthma? And over 13,000,000 school-aged kids have severe food and other allergies. That's a pretty sobering thought, isn't it? It's no secret that allergies and asthma are on the rise among our children. Thankfully, so is our collective awareness about these serious issues.
I actually worked in a public school system in Virginia for years. I was directly responsible for supervising children from Kindergarten through 5th grade, and many of our kids had medical issues like food allergies, asthma, and even juvenile diabetes. I had to train and become certified in both First Aid and CPR as well as medication administration. At that time, kids weren't allowed to administer their own emergency medications. This, thanks to rising awareness, has changed. All students in each state are now allowed to self-treat their asthma and allergies. This is such an important milestone, since it can save precious time in the event of an emergency. This is just one of the many changes that has taken place in our schools, allowing kids with asthma and allergies to have a safer day at school.
The AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) has been raising the bar for our nation's schools by creating an annual State Honor Roll. This program is in its 7th year, and rates each state on the procedures and protection measures that are in place in their schools to protect the millions of children who deal with severe allergies and asthma on a daily basis. They have set very high standards in which to measure against, but this is a good thing. These high standards have the potential to not only give kids a safer place to learn, but maybe also help save some lives.
Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Ms. Charlotte Collins, the Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). We discussed not only the 2014 State Honor Roll, but also ways that parents can help make our schools a safer place for kids who are affected by these conditions. Check out our conversation in the video below:
To learn more about the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and their State Honor Roll program, please visit www.StateHonorRoll.org