February 2014

 The California School Environmental Health and Asthma Collaborative (SEHAC) brings together education and health professionals to promote indoor and outdoor environments that maximize health and learning in schools. SEHAC is launching this newsletter to encourage implementation of practical strategies that assist schools by:

  • Increasing awareness of the health, educational and financial costs associated with unhealthy indoor air quality and asthma
  • Providing resources for addressing asthma and indoor air quality
  • Introducing practices that leverage partnerships to address asthma and indoor quality

Every two months, SEHAC will publish brief articles on key issues; links to a range of resources that can help you address asthma and environmental health in your school(s), and timely learning opportunities such as workshops, conferences, and webinars.


Asthma Medication


The California self-carry/
self-administer law:
Does your district comply?



A law to allow students with asthma to carry and self-administer their asthma medication has been in effect since January of 2005 (California Education Code 49423-1).  There are two requirements to be met for students to carry and self-administer:

     1) A written statement from the physician including the name of the medication, how it is to be used, the dosage, and confirmation that the student is able to self-administer; and

     2) A written statement from the parent/foster parent/guardian providing consent to allow the student to self-administer the medication, allowing the school nurse or other designated school staff to consult with the physician if there are questions or concerns, and freeing the school district and school personnel from civil liability in the event of an adverse reaction to medication that the student has self-administered.


Quick relief medication for asthma may be life-saving. It is critical that the school district have a policy in place to implement this law and that all staff be aware of the requirement. A review of this requirement, as well as how to handle an asthma emergency, may be found in the popular 3-minute AsthmaQuickTake (AQT) #1 produced by SEHAC. Sharing this AQT with school boards, administrators and staff my help save a child's life.


If you need assistance in developing or revising policy to reflect the law, SEHAC can help. Contact SEHAC member Joan Edelstein, DrPH, RN, Credentialed School Nurse at joan.edelstein@gmail.com 



SEHAC Featured Member 

The Central California Asthma Collaborative

Ambitious collaborative combats asthma across San Joaquin Valley.
The Central California Asthma Collaborative (CCAC) is a newly formed network of regional asthma coalitions and local organizations working to reduce the burden of childhood asthma and improve the health and quality of life of San Joaquin Valley residents affected by asthma and other respiratory conditions. CCAC programs educate children with asthma, provide air quality support and resources to local residents, and coordinate the work of seven county asthma coalitions across the San JoaquinValley. As a SEHAC member, CCAC works with K-12 schools to implement healthy air quality practices and effective asthma management for students.

Currently, CCAC has two programs that serve the needs of families and schools. The first is the Asthma Impact Model (AIM) Program, a multi-component intervention aimed at reducing asthma triggers in the home and at school by encouraging good indoor air quality practices. The model includes the following components:
  • A child and caregiver needs assessment
  • An environmental home assessment
  • Focused asthma education for child and caregiver
  • Improved access to care and resources for under-insured families
  • A school-based intervention focusing on risk prevention
The second program is Healthy Air Living Schools (HALS), a school-based outreach campaign focused on education, implementation and utilization of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District's air quality programs that promote good outdoor air quality practices. The components of HALS are:

These programs empower the entire community by promoting healthy home and school environments. For more information about the Central California Asthma Collaborative visit its website at  www.centralcalasthma.org or call 559.493.5743.

In This Issue
Resources for Schools 


National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute facts sheets covering asthma basics and asthma in schools (English and Spanish).

Minnesota Department of Health Asthma Program downloadable poster of asthma medications


California Healthy Kids Resource Center's free online training on Responding to Asthma Episodes.


US EPA's Tools for Schools Action Toolkit with simple, low- to no-cost solutions for improving environmental health in schools.


Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Effective Strategies for Obtaining Reimbursement, scheduled for

Thursday, February 13, 2014. More information



US EPA's Sensible Steps to Healthier School

Environments series, scheduled for Wednesday, February 18.  More information

CDC Study Shows Great Progress in School IAQ Management and Physical Environment scheduled for Thursday, February 27, 2014. More information



California  Breathing | maha.abdelaziz@cdph.ca.gov |