For families with asthmatic children it’s important to create an asthma action plan before the new school year starts. An asthma action plan is a coordinated effort between you and the school to better control your child’s asthma. Aside from providing information about your child’s condition, it also informs the school staff of what to do in case of an asthma attack, and what to do if your child doesn’t respond well to the medication during an attack.

How to Develop an Effective Asthma Action Plan:

  • Take your child to the doctor before the school year to ensure your current plan is up to date
  • Doctor’s visit will determine whether the meds currently in use are as effective as they should be
  • Include description of your child’s typical symptoms and any pertinent information about the medication
  • Put all your contact information so the school knows how to contact you during an emergency
  • Include necessary considerations regarding physical activity and your child – preemptive medicines and exercise modifications
  • Mention all possible triggers for your child’s asthma (i.e. weather, air pollution, food, dust, etc.)

After you’ve made an action plan for your child, be sure to pass it out to everyone who will be around your child, such as teachers, nurses, coaches, and the bus driver. You can find an asthma action plan form from the American Lung Association.

Other Helpful Tips:

  • Your child has the right to carry asthma meds with him while in school
  • The flu is bad for asthma, so vaccinate you and your child before each school year
  • Give the school nurse a portable nebulizer to help your child if he requires routine nebulizer treatments
  • Nebulizer treatments deliver medicine directly to the lungs to open airways and make breathing easier

Always consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your asthma action plan to make sure the changes will be effective.