How to Create an Asthma Action Plan for School Students
Asthma is a chronic – and sometimes debilitating – condition. It’s also very common, affecting nearly 1 in 13 Americans. People with asthma need to know how to manage their condition effectively. But how do you do this?
In most cases, this means having what’s known as an “asthma action plan”. Here’s how action plans work and what to include in your child’s plan.
What Is an Asthma Action Plan?
Think of an asthma action plan as a personal worksheet. It sets out, in writing, the steps to take to control your – or your child’s – asthma. You can share the worksheet with any adults in your child’s life. This way, they’ll know what to do if your child has an attack.
Your child’s doctor might create a plan for you, but you can write your own. In fact, you should know how to write or customize your plan! This helps you feel in control of your child’s health and makes living with asthma a little easier.
What’s Included in a Simple Asthma Action Plan?
We’ll cover what to include below, but generally, a plan should include the following:
- Emergency contact information
- Asthma medication
- “Red flags” for worsening asthma
- What to do if asthma is getting worse
An asthma action plan can help to prevent asthma attacks or mitigate how serious they get.
Who Needs an Asthma Action Plan?
The simple answer is everyone with asthma. There’s no asthma sufferer who won’t benefit from a clear plan to help manage their condition.
Asthma plans are especially important, though, if you have a more severe form of asthma. They’re also very useful for children who might not recognize when their symptoms are getting worse. Adults, looking at the plan, can spot the signs and act quickly.
What to Include in Asthma Action Plans for Schools
Now we know why you need a plan, there’s another question – how do you write one? Here’s what to include in a simple asthma action plan for school-aged children.
Let’s start with the basics. Every action plan should contain:
- Child’s name
- Primary doctor and contact details
- Emergency contact name and contact information
You might also include details of the local hospital, if you think this could be helpful.
Personal Asthma Zones
Asthma “zones” are essentially a scale to help you measure day-to-day fluctuations in asthma control. Usually, we have three zones – green, yellow, and red.
- Green: Child feels good. Asthma symptoms are under control. Medication is working. This is the zone we want your child to be in every day.
- Yellow: The child is experiencing asthma symptoms. This could mean they’ve been exposed to a trigger or have a virus. Or, their medicine isn’t working so well anymore.
- Red: At this point, the medicine isn’t working anymore. Asthma symptoms won’t resolve and the child feels worse.
Every child’s zones are personal to them. However, signs which could indicate sliding into the “yellow” zone are:
- Struggling with normal daily activities
- Waking up at night feeling breathless
- Peak flow readings are dropping
- Some cough, chest tightness, or wheezing
Children entering the “red” zone may have symptoms such as:
- Increased breathlessness
- Can’t speak due to breathing difficulties
- Peak flow readings are continuing to go down
- Can’t do normal activities or any exercise
Asthmaniac, your Online Asthma Doctor, can help you create an action plan that works for your child.
Including asthma triggers can help teachers and school staff predict when a child’s asthma might worsen. This alerts them to when a child may need closer monitoring.
Include what medicine a child takes when they’re in the “green” zone. Then, write down what medicine they should take if they enter the “yellow” zone. Include the dosage and how often/when they should take the medicine.
You should also include any quick relief medicine your child takes if they slip into the “red” zone.
How to Handle Asthma Emergencies
Thankfully, asthma mortality rates are declining in the US. One reason for this could be knowing how to act quickly and avoid asthma attacks becoming emergencies. If a child enters the “red zone”, schools should take the following action:
- Administer any emergency medicine
- Call 911
- Contact the emergency contact (usually a parent)
Get a Simple Asthma Action Plan for School Students
A simple asthma action plan can help your child feel more in control of their asthma. But it can also save their life. Do you need help managing your child’s asthma at school? Asthmaniac can help.
As the Online Asthma Doctor, we can help with everything from reviewing medicine to writing an action plan. Contact Asthmaniac to take back control of your child’s asthma today.
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