Researchers say school nurses who offer asthma care can cut the number of student absences related to asthma.
"We've known for years that asthma was one of the leading causes of absences," said Dr. Mark Millard at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
Eighth-grader Dezmond Jones, one of many children who sometimes misses school because of his asthma, said he doesn't like to miss class.
"I miss a lot of my assignments, and sometimes I can't make up for it," he said.
Millard led a team of researchers seeking to find ways to keep asthmatic children from missing classes.
The researchers turned to nurses in the Dallas Independent School District.
"If you don't have a school nurse, you're not going to take good care of your kids," Millard said.
Millard and his team gave every nurse in the school district special asthma diagnostic tools and training to go with it. The results were dramatic, he said.
"These kids got better," Millard said.
The students' health improved -- and so did their attendance. After tracking hundreds of children who had received asthma care through a school nurse, the results were clear.
"Children with asthma miss no more school than children without asthma," Millard said.
The study is published in the journal Chest.
Jones said he has all the proof he needs.
"I'm doing good," he said. "I haven't had an asthma attack in a long time. It makes me real happy."
He also hasn't missed school.