April means the sweet smell of spring, but also an increase in asthma triggers for kids. For this issue of Ask Nancy, we learn how improving school air quality benefits students and staff, and get a list of things to avoid using to keep kids safe.
We have students who struggle with ashthma and miss school because of this illness. What can schools do to help reduce their exposure to triggers?
Healthy indoor air quality reduces asthma & headaches – keeping students feeling good, more focused on learning and improving their attendance to school. Good ventilation and prohibiting air borne irritants (ABI) is key:
- Do not use room deodorizing sprays, plug-ins, scented candle warmers, scented reeds, candles, incense, essential oils, or potpourris.
- Do not use perfumes, colognes, body sprays and other strongly scented personal care products. Institute and post a “scent free” policy.
- Do not use permanent, solvent-based or scented pens, markers, and board cleaners. Instead use water-based, unscented, crayon-based, or low-odor items.
- Never use air-cleaning devices that generate ozone or are called “ionizers.” Ozone is a respiratory irritant.
- Avoid spray adhesives, rubber cement, and paints. Don’t use urinal cakes. Control bathroom odors by proper cleaning and ventilation.
What cleaning products are safe for asthma sufferers but effective for fighting germs?
Use only chemicals, cleaners, or disinfectants approved and provided by the school. Never bring in products from home. Infection Control is easier to achieve that many people realize. Cleaning surfaces with plain soap and water does the trick every time. Do not use disinfectant wipes – these are generally not effective or necessary. Leave the disinfection for trained custodians with approved effective products.