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Asthma in water safety

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

What to do if a child or student has asthma

All schools have staff trained in asthma first aid and have asthma emergency kits available. All water safety instructors are trained in asthma first aid.

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

All students diagnosed with asthma will have an asthma action plan

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 water safety consent form (PDF 81KB) for students participating in all school water safety program activities. This form will be shown to school staff, water safety instructors and emergency services personnel responsible for this student’s safety.

No student can participate in water safety 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

Water safety instructors may need access to students’ asthma action plan 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.

As with school and preschool staff, water safety instructors are first aid trained and able to administer Ventolin via a puffer and a spacer if a student presents with asthma symptoms.

Refer to the asthma page on EDi for more information (staff log in required).

Water Safety Team

Phone: 8416 5920
Fax: 8115 5558
Email: Educationswimaquatics [at] sa.gov.au