Schools get involved for World Asthma Day tomorrow

Over 130 schools throughout New Zealand have signed up to celebrate World Asthma Day tomorrow May 7, to educate children and teachers on the triggers and management of asthma. Now into it's second year, the fun and interactive World Asthma Day campaign provided by the Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) has seen almost twice as many schools sign up, with this year's focus on how to manage an asthma emergency.  

Letitia O’Dwyer, Chief Executive of Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ comments, “Statistics show there will be at least four children in a class of 30 students who have asthma, so we know that asthma has a large prevalence within our schools and communities. This year we have provided free activity packs for schools, educating students on how to respond to an asthma emergency should their classmate have one, and asking schools to check that their asthma emergency kit is up-to-date. The information provided within these resources is crucial, and could very well save lives” says Letitia.  

Hundreds of asthma school activity packs have been sent out to schools in preparation for World Asthma Day. The activities involve fun and interactive games, arts and crafts, and suggestions for school fundraisers to aid in raising the national profile of asthma and respiratory illnesses within New Zealand. There are also prizes up for grabs – for every $25 a school raises gives them one entry into the draw to win a scooter, kindly donated by Micro Scooters NZ.    

“Winning schools could potentially use the scooters as a prize for an outstanding leader or someone who demonstrates a positive attitude within their school community,” says Letitia.    

ARFNZ is a charitable organisation that strives to provide resources and education across all areas of the community despite receiving no government funding. Some of the Foundation’s school-related initiatives include Sailor the Puffer Fish, a musical show educating primary school children about asthma which was recently launched in Te Reo Māori. ARFNZ also provides a ‘Teachers’ Asthma Toolkit’, designed for teachers to have important information about asthma in one place – via an interactive website.    

World Asthma Day is celebrated world wide and the activity pack is available for all early childhood education centres, primary schools, intermediate schools and secondary schools throughout New Zealand.