What is asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease.
That means that your child may have it for most of his or her life. Asthma is a condition that can cause breathing problems. These problems come from swelling of the airways in the lungs. Asthma makes the airways too small to let enough air in and out of the lungs. Asthma can be treated so that your child can live a normal active life.
Asthma causes breathing problems because:
• The muscles around the airways get tight and make the airways too small to let air in and out.
• Mucus builds up in the airways of the lungs and clogs them (just like your nose gets clogged when you have a cold, lungs get clogged, too).
• The airways of the lungs swell.
Learn more about asthma with the American Lung Association's online course Asthma Basics
Do you have an Asthma Action Plan?
An Asthma Action Plan is a plan for taking control of asthma.
Everyone with asthma should have one. Ask your doctor for a written plan so you will know what to do when you are feeling well, when you start to have symptoms and when you have an asthma attack.
Make sure to give a copy of your child's Asthma Action Plan to the school, childcare, and anywhere else your child goes regularly.
Back to School with Asthma:
Teamwork is the key!
Work together with the school nurse, teachers and other school staff so your child with asthma can receive the care and educational support she needs to manage her health and their learning during the school day. Good communication can help keep your child in school and ready to learn!
A signed medication administration form is required for students to have access to their asthma medications during the school day and at school activities. It tells whether or not a child is able to carry his own medicine and when he must go to the school nurse. This form is signed by you and your child's doctor and should go along with an Asthma Action Plan.
Find out more about taking care of asthma at school with the American Lung Association's Back to School with Asthma Checklist!
What "Triggers" Your Child's Asthma?
Reduce exposure for better asthma control.
Triggers are things that can cause asthma symptoms, an episode or attack or make asthma worse. If you have asthma, you may react to just one trigger or you may find that several things act as triggers. Be sure to work with a doctor to identify triggers and develop a treatment plan that includes ways to reduce exposures to your asthma triggers.
Learn more about triggers with these free booklets from the Environmental Protection Agency. Order yours today by clicking here!