Asthma is one of the most common childhood diseases that, unfortunately, is carried through to adulthood. Dealing with this disease can make first-time parents anxious, but with the right action plan, childhood asthma can be easily managed.
What is an Asthma Action Plan?
An Asthma Action Plan is a well-planned and individualized written worksheet that lays out all the possible symptoms you need to watch out for in a child with asthma. It shows you the steps that you need to take in order to get attacks or flare-ups under control. This action plan can help you determine when a trip to the emergency room is necessary, and thus should be shared with the child’s caregivers and school teachers and healthcare providers.
The Three Zones
This zone is where you want your child to be in, as it means that your child is doing well. Being in the green zone means that the child can breathe easy, is able to do his regular activities, is not wheezing or coughing, and sleeps fitfully through the night. There’s no need to have the child deviate from his usual routine when he’s in this zone, but regular medications do still need to be continued.
The Yellow Zone is the warning zone. The child is in this zone if the he or she has some or all of these symptoms: shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, reports feeling tightness in the chest, has some difficulty with usual activities, and wakes up at night because of breathing problems.
Make sure that your child continues to take regular medication, and pay a visit to your healthcare provider. The doctor may prescribe medication meant to give the child immediate relief to help him or her get back to the Green Zone.
DANGER – this is essentially what the Red Zone means. The child being in this zone necessitates a call to the doctor right away, as well as taking his “rescue” medication. Symptoms that indicate that the child is in the Red Zone include the following: breathing is fast and hard, nose is flaring or open wide, slurs or is not able to talk well, ribs are showing, and shows difficulty in walking. If the symptoms appear to be severe, call 911 or emergency services in your country.
An asthma action plan is necessary for families that have asthmatic family members, as it can help prevent asthma attacks from occurring. For a more detailed guide on childhood asthma, you can check out this useful infographic from Filter Buy.