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Asthma in Swimming and Aquatics

This page has information about asthma, as well as forms and fact sheets. Remember that teachers retain duty of care for their students at all times. As part of this responsibility, school staff must assist Swimming and Aquatics instructors-in-charge to understand and monitor student health and wellbeing. 

What to do if a child or student has asthma

All schools should have staff trained in asthma first aid and have asthma first aid kits available. All Swimming and Aquatics unit staff are trained in asthma first aid.

Older students often carry their own asthma relief medication. The  medication management guidelines explain if and when students should be allowed to self-manage medication:

Monitoring affected students

Staff should know if students use asthma reliever medication for first aid. Even if students are authorised to carry their own asthma medication, they should be encouraged to inform staff of any unusual breathing difficulty they experience, as well as any actions they have taken to address this.

This is distinct from older students self-medicating routinely. For example, an older student who knows they need two puffs of their reliever medication before physical activity and self-manages this.

Medical consent form

The parent or guardian must complete a medical consent form (Word 90KB) for students participating in SA government school swimming and aquatics activities.  This form will be shown to school staff, swimming instructors and emergency services personnel responsible for this student’s safety.

No student can participate in swimming and aquatics programs without completing the form.

A copy must be given to the instructor-in-charge. Information provided is confidential and must be stored in a secure place.

Asthma care plan

Swimming and Aquatics unit instructors may need access to students’ asthma care plans (PDF 70KB) and medication that have been provided to the school. Individual schools need to assess the level of support needed for each student to make sure that they get the best health care in an emergency.

The following students do not not need an asthma care plan or medication (eg puffer) to participate in Swimming and Aquatics activities:

  • students not currently on an asthma management plan with a health professional
  • students who do not require regular intervention by staff and
  • students who do not require personalised emergency response (eg oxygen).

As with school and preschool staff, Swimming and Aquatics unit staff are first aid trained and able to administer Ventolin via a puffer and a spacer if a student presents with asthma-like symptoms.

See the asthma management in education and care document for more information.

First aid flow chart

Contact

Child Development and Wellbeing

Phone: 8226 0870
Email: DECD.CSW [at] sa.gov.au

Swimming and Aquatics unit

Phone: 8226 1302
Fax: 8115 5558
Email: DECDswimaquatics [at] sa.gov.au