When you care for a child with asthma, it is important to know what his or her asthma triggers are. Work with your child’s healthcare provider to create an Asthma Action Plan so you will know what to do if your child's asthma symptoms worsen.
It is also important to make sure that you know about your child’s medication and how to use the devices prescribed for your child. Be sure to stay informed, and work closely with your child's healthcare provider to help control your child's asthma symptoms and work toward his or her asthma management goals.
Asthma Basics for Parents
Five important things you can do to help your child manage his or her asthma:
- If your child is 4 to 11 years old, have him or her take the Childhood Asthma Control Test* periodically to help determine whether his or her asthma symptoms are well controlled, and share the results with your child’s healthcare provider. If your child is 12 years or older, have them take the Asthma Control TestTM
- Know what your child’s asthma triggers are and how to minimize exposure to them
- Make sure your child is using the right medication at the right time. Know which medicines are for long-term control and which are for quick relief of sudden symptoms. Also make sure you and your child know how to use each inhaler properly
- Work with your child’s healthcare provider to create an Asthma Action Plan that explains what steps to take if asthma symptoms worsen. Share it with your child’s school and other caregivers
- Make sure that other caregivers—sitters, teachers, school nurses, camp counselors, coaches, and so on—understand your child’s condition, what his or her triggers are, which medications he or she needs and when, and how the medications should be given
If Your Child Is Old Enough To Take Part In His Or Her Care, It Is Important To Help Your Child Understand
- His or her asthma triggers and how to minimize exposure to them
- How to take prescribed asthma medicines and the differences between them
- His or her Asthma Action Plan and steps to take if asthma symptoms worsen
Assess your child’s comfort with using medicines and devices. When appropriate, encourage your child to ask their provider any questions or concerns they may be having about their asthma. This may help your child feel a part of their healthcare team.
Asthma and School
As a parent of a child with asthma, it's important to work with the healthcare provider to help get your child's asthma symptoms under control. Good communication with your child's teachers about his or her asthma is important.
Here are some steps you can take to help manage your child's asthma symptoms, as well as your own concerns, throughout the school year.
Schedule a Meeting Before School Starts
This talk should include your child's teachers, coaches, school nurses, and teacher assistants. Encourage the school's staff to help your child feel comfortable about managing asthma and asking for help. It is important for staff members to develop an understanding of your child's situation so they can help with daily asthma management (if necessary) and be ready in case of an emergency.
Create an Asthma Action Plan
It is important to work with your child’s healthcare provider to create an Asthma Action Plan for your child and to share it with everyone at school who works with him or her. The plan should include your child's asthma triggers, a list of the medications he or she takes (including proper dosage), asthma symptoms to watch for, peak flow zones, and emergency telephone numbers. Be sure to indicate who will be responsible for your child's rescue medication while at school. It should be readily accessible in case of an emergency, so make sure everyone involved is aware of its location. Do not hesitate to ask your child's healthcare provider to work with you and the school, if needed.
Communicate Regularly with School Staff
Open communication and regular feedback are important aspects of managing asthma. Talk with your child and the school staff periodically to be sure your child's Asthma Action Plan is working and to identify any concerns. Try to involve your child as much as possible throughout this process. The more comfortable your child feels, the more active a role he or she may take in managing his or her asthma.
Asthma Control TestTM is a trademark of QualityMetric Incorporated.
*The Childhood Asthma Control Test was developed by GSK.
- Help your child gain control over asthma. Environmental Protection Agency Web site. http://www.epa.gov/asthma/pdfs/ll_asthma_brochure.pdf. Accessed 05 July 2015
- Liu AH, Gilsenan AW, Stanford RH, Lincourt W, Ziemiecki R, Ortega H. Status of asthma control in pediatric primary care: results from the pediatric asthma control characteristics and prevalence survey study (ACCESS). J Pediatr. 2010;157(2):276-281.e3.
- Nathan RA, Sorkness CA, Kosinski M, et al. Development of the Asthma Control Test: a survey for assessing asthma control. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2004;113(1):59-65.
- Childhood asthma: tips to remember. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Website. http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/childhood-asthma.aspx. Accessed 05 July 2015.
SG/AST/0005/15a Certified 26/04/16.