November 3, 2021


Asthma is a long-term lung condition. People with asthma have sensitive airways in their lungs which react to triggers such as exercise, illness, pollen, causing a ‘flare-up’. In a flare-up, the muscles around the airway squeeze tight, the airways swell, become narrow and there is more mucus. A sudden or severe flare-up is sometimes called an asthma attack. 

Signs and symptoms can include; breathlessness, wheezing, tightness in the chest and a persistent cough. 

At DVSDS, student’s diagnosed with asthma must have;

  • A current Asthma Action Plan which has been completed by the student’s medical practitioner
  • A student asthma kit consisting of a reliever medication and a spacer (if they use one). 

DVSDS maintains emergency asthma kits. 

If a student is having an asthma attack or having breathing difficulty for an unknown cause, staff will initiate an Asthma Emergency Response. Staff will call ‘000’ immediately if;

  • The student is not breathing
  • If the student’s asthma suddenly becomes worse or is not improving
  • If the student is not known to have asthma and is having breathing difficulty
  • If the student is known to have anaphylaxis

Thunderstorm Asthma

During the grass pollen season, which occurs between October and December, there is an increased risk of seasonal asthma, hay fever and epidemic thunderstorm asthma. Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events are triggered by a combination of high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm. People with a history of asthma, undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are at an increased risk during this time.

At DVSDS, we monitor daily pollen and thunderstorm asthma risks (term 4) and are prepared to act on the warnings and advice from the Department of Education.

For further information, refer to the DVSDS Asthma Policy.