If you have asthma, you
probably have a routine at home for taking care of it. But for much of the average
day, you're not at home. You're at school. What can you do there to take care of your
asthma? Let's find out.
Why Do I Need an Asthma Action Plan?
When you're dealing with asthma, you need an asthma
action plan. This plan is what tells you and the grownups around you how to treat
your asthma. It includes:
what things make your asthma symptoms worse, and how to avoid them
Your doctor or other health care provider will fill out your plan. Make copies
of it, and share it with your teachers and the school nurse.
Who Else Should Know About My Plan?
It's a good idea for your parents to meet with the school nurse and your teachers
to review the plan. This way, they'll know which medicines you need to take, and when.
It's also a good idea to let your friends know about your asthma. That way, they'll
understand why you take medicine and they can help if you ever have breathing trouble.
Depending on your school's rules, your teacher may keep your medicine for you or
it might be kept in the school office or the nurse's office. Some kids are allowed
to keep their medicine in their lockers or bags.
Make sure you always know where your medicine is, especially on special days like
How Can I Avoid Asthma Triggers at School?
Triggers are those
things (like pollen or cat dander) that can make asthma worse. If you don't know what
your triggers are, ask your mom, dad, or doctor. Then do your best to avoid those
For example, if chalk dust is a problem, your teachers might be able to use dry
erase boards instead of a chalkboard. If mold and pollen counts are high, your teacher
may close the windows.
Talk with your teacher about making changes so you don't have breathing problems
in class. If you feel funny asking for these special requests, ask your mom or dad
to speak to the teacher, school nurse, or principal. Most teachers are glad to help.
After all, if you can't breathe, you can't learn!
What About Sports?
You might think that because you have asthma you can't run around on the playground
or play sports. That's not true! Even some professional athletes have asthma.
Just take your medicine when you need to, and let your coach or gym teacher know
about your asthma.
Don't feel bad if you have to sit out a game or practice now and then. Sometimes
kids with asthma need to take it a little bit easy, especially when they are sick
or if the weather outside is really cold.
Get an "A" in Asthma Care!
If you follow your asthma action plan, you're more likely to keep your asthma from
becoming a problem at school.