IAQ Tools for Schools
Health and Achievement
Parents and Students and Healthy Indoor School Environments
Parents and students who are passionate about clean, healthy indoor air are often effective members of a school's IAQ management team.
School-aged children spend a great deal of time inside school buildings. Parents can play an important role in creating healthy indoor school environments. Parents and students alike can make a powerful case for protecting health in schools.
Tell-Tale Signs that Your Child's Complaints are IAQ-Related
- Health complaints are associated with particular times of the day or week.
- Other occupants in the same area experience similar problems.
- Health complaints end when the child leaves the building and recur when the child returns.
- The school has recently been renovated or refurnished.
- The child has recently begun working with new or different materials or equipment at school.
- New cleaning or pesticide products or practices have been introduced into the school.
- Smoking is allowed in the school.
- A new warm-blooded animal has been introduced into the classroom.
Top Actions Parents and Students Can Take to Address IAQ
- Learn how to effectively communicate with school officials and teachers.
- Participate in your school's IAQ committee.
- If your child has asthma, you can take steps to reduce their risk of exposure to environmental asthma triggers in schools. Communicate what you know with your child's school teachers and nurses, and be sure your child has an Asthma Action Plan (PDF) (2 pp., 119 K, about PDF) Versión de Español (PDF, 8 pp., 578 K) at school.
- Use EPA's Asthma Awareness Month Event Planning Kit (PDF) (14 pp., 736 K) to spearhead a community activity intended to raise awareness about the importance of asthma management in schools.
EPA Resources for Parents and Students
Help Your Child Gain Control Over Asthma (PDF) (36 pp., 1.05 M) This brochure offers tips on how to manage asthma and follow simple steps to minimize exposure to asthma triggers found indoors and out.
- Managing Asthma in the School Environment This resource includes information on how to identify and control common environmental factors in schools that trigger asthma attacks.
- Mercury in Schools
Other Resources for Parents and Students
- Healthy Schools Network As a leading national voice for children's environmental health at school, this organization's Healthy Schools/Healthy Kids Clearinghouse includes a wide range of materials, publications, posters and reports on healthy school environments.
- Parent Teacher Association (PTA) The PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy association in the nation and has recognized the growing importance of environmental issues and the impact they have on the health and welfare of children and their families. Read the PTA's Position Statement on Environmental Health and Safety .
- American Lung Association (ALA) Access ALA's Healthy Air at School Web page to learn how to recognize an indoor air pollution problem at your child's school and how to take action to resolve issues.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) As the leading patient organization for people with asthma and allergies and the oldest asthma and allergy patient group in the world, AAFA offers educational products including programs, materials and tools, online resources, and publications, many available in Spanish.
- Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) As a leading nonprofit family health organization dedicated to eliminating suffering and death due to asthma, allergies and related conditions, AANMA offers a wide range of resources and articles on allergy and asthma management in schools .