On Tuesday, we talked about what teachers can do to keep the air in their classrooms as healthy as possible. Now it’s the parents’ turn.
You may not think you can have much influence on the indoor environment at school, but every little bit helps. Many children suffer from allergies and asthma and there are more every year. Tens of thousands of school days are missed every year in the US due to asthma and with our current schedule and the pressure of standardized testing, every instructional hour counts, for the kids and for school funding.
How can you help improve the indoor air at your child’s school?
1. Be observant–When you are at school visiting for Back-to-School Night, parent-teacher conferences or events, walk around the campus. If you see any water damage, cluttered areas, odors or dirty carpeting, make sure that you let someone in authority know it needs to be taken care of. Details can get overlooked in the chaos of having hundreds or even thousands of students using a school campus every day.
2. Keep track of small complaints–Kids might not always mention a headache at school if it goes away when they go home so ask them how they are feeling when you pick them up as part of your “how was your day” inquiries. They will remember to tell you if they were dizzy or nauseous if you ask.
3. Be informed–Find out what cleaning products are used at your school and recommend greener options that are less likely to trigger allergies or asthma attacks if necessary.
4. Be communicative–If your child has sensitivities or if you have any concerns about the environment at your school, don’t keep them to yourself. You can only be a positive influence if you are out there talking to the powers-that-be.
Even if your child does not suffer from asthma or allergies, they deserve as healthy an indoor environment at school as possible. Teachers, administrators and parents can work together to ensure that all students are in their seats and ready to learn every day.
Rebecca Mieliwocki is not only the 2012 National Teacher of the Year, she is also both of my children’s 7th grade English teacher!
Wendy Stackhouse is the Online Community Manager for AirTek and our environmental services division Alliance Environmental Group. We welcome your comments! For more news and tips or to ask questions of our experts, Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! For updates on environmental services like mold remediation, lead removal and pest control including bed bugs, Like us at Alliance Environmental on Facebook or follow Alliance on Twitter!