Even if you don’t have a child with asthma or allergies, chances are, someone you know does have a child with these life threatening chronic illnesses. With millions of children heading back to school this season, asthma and allergies are a huge concern because nearly 8 million children have asthma and 13 million have severe allergies to food and other triggers.

Some states are more proactive when it comes to supporting students with these chronic diseases, while others need to do more. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is releasing its 7th annual State Honor Roll report assessing all 50 states and the District of Columbia on their leadership and progress on policies protecting students and staff with asthma and allergies in more than 100,000 schools across the U.S.  

You can read the full 2014 State Honor Roll of Asthma and Allergy Policies for Schools report here: www.StateHonorRoll.org

Charlotte W. CollinsInterviews with Charlotte W. Collins, regarding the 2014 State Honor Roll of Asthma and Allergy Policies for Schools report

Last week I had the opportunity to interview the Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), Charlotte W. Collins. A few highlights of the interview are outlined below. I’ve also included highlights from other blogger interviews from around the nation as they may address additional questions not covered in my interview. The full video interviews are also included for your reference.


Interview with The Mommy Bunch – highlights

On food allergies

“Wisconsin allows kids to come to school with their epinephrine injectors to protect them in case they have an attack.”

“Wisconsin is lagging in medication and treatment policies, and could pay more attention to policies that require to schools to identify students who have food allergies, and who make sure they have emergency protocols in place.”

On being an advocate

“We include in our report some information on how parents can be better advocates, one of the things we strongly recommend is that people tell their story. Telling the story begins with telling the story in the classroom to the classroom teacher, and to the principal.”

“One of the reasons that we think that our report is such an important tool is because I’ve had people come to me in the past and tell me that ‘I went to my child’s principal and my child’s principal said that they were not going to be allowed to keep their epinephrine auto injector with them in the classroom and that that was the school rule.’ I said, ‘well did you tell them that the state law is otherwise, they have a right to keep it in the classroom?’ And a lot of times the parents will say ‘well we didn’t know that.’”

How is Wisconsin doing overall?

“Wisconsin is doing okay, but Wisconsin could do better, like every state, in making sure that there are nurses available to kids in school while they are in school. We recommend 1 nurse per 750 pupils.”

Interview with Newly Crunchy Mama of 3 –  highlights

“Every state in the nation allows children to bring their medication to school for asthma and allergy, and allows them to use it in the case of an emergency.”

Interview with Two Little Monkeys –  highlights

“Most states now have taken up stocking epinephrine auto injectors for severe anaphylactic reactions, but not the one [inhalers] for asthma.”

Interview with Daddy Librium – highlights

Common misconception — “Children are going to be safe at school whether I do something about it or not; that is not going to be the case and people need to know that every child at school does not have access to the school nurse. If things begin to go downstream they may not have access to someone who is trained and has medical knowledge and knows what to do.”


About Charlotte W. Collins: Charlotte W. Collins, JD, is Senior Vice President of Policy and Programs for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).  She leads AAFA¹s advocacy efforts and patient education programs, and is the author of AAFA’s State Honor Roll report.


So tell us…

Do you have a child that suffers from allergies or asthma?

What additional policies would you like to see put in place?  

How does your state rate overall?




Thank you to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for sponsoring this post and getting this crucial information out in order to hopefully help save lives!