Preparing for School with Asthma

Download the Preparing for School with Asthma – What You Need to Know PDF or en español, Preparándose para la Escuela – Lo Que Usted Necesita Saber PDF.

 

If your child has asthma, it is important to start preparing for school early. All children in Illinois with asthma are allowed to carry and use their quick-relief asthma inhaler while at school, so you’ll want to make sure your child knows how to use his or her inhaler during the school day.

Begin letting your child use his or her quick-reliever at least six months before starting school. By practicing together, you can ensure your child is using the inhaler correctly and does not have your help. There will be mistakes, so it is best that you are there to correct them.

Be sure to teach your child:

  • That it is important to always keep his or her asthma medicine nearby.
  • What triggers his or her asthma and how to avoid these triggers at school.
  • How to recognize his or her asthma signs and symptoms.
  • How to tell an adult when asthma symptoms start.
  • When to use quick-reliever medicine.
  • How to use quick-reliever medicine with a spacer.

Ensure that your school has the necessary materials:

As of August 2010, in accordance with Illinois Public Act 096-1460, your child does not need a doctor’s note to carry and use a quick-relief asthma inhaler at school.

The school does need:

  • You to fill out and promptly return all required forms, including documentation of an asthma diagnosis.
  • A note signed by you explaining that your child can carry and use his or her quick-relief inhaler.
  • The prescription label off of your child’s medication box.

Make sure the school is ready for your child:

  • Call and meet with school staff to file an Individualized Health Care Plan (504 plan), a legal document that provides modifications to your child while at school.
  • Ensure that the nurse and teacher have an asthma action plan. An asthma action plan is a written document that explains your child’s asthma triggers, symptoms, medicines and actions to take during an asthma episode.
  • Provide two inhalers whenever possible. Your child should carry one with him/her, and the school staff should keep a backup.
  • Provide the school with emergency contact information so you or someone else can be reached in an emergency.

Edades 0-5 Documento de Instrucciones

Descargar Edades 0 – 5 Documento de Instrucciones: Plan Para El Asma Infantil PDF o en inglés, Ages 0 – 5 Instructions for Parents: Asthma Action Plans PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider develop for your child, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download instructions for parents regarding asthma action plans for children ages 0 – 5, available in English or in Spanish. Sample asthma action plan can be downloaded as well.

Edades 0 – 5 Plan para el Asma Infantil PDF

Ages 0 – 5 Asthma Action Plan PDF

Ages 0 – 5 Instructions for Parents

Download the Ages 0 – 5 Instructions for Parents: Asthma Action Plans PDF or in español, Edades 0 – 5 Documento de Instrucciones: Plan Para El Asma Infantil PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider develop for your child, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download instructions for parents regarding asthma action plans for children ages 0 – 5, available in English or in Spanish. Sample asthma action plan can be downloaded as well.

Ages 0 – 5 Asthma Action Plan PDF

Edades 0 – 5 Plan para el Asma Infantil PDF

Edades 5+ El Plan de Acción para Pacientos con Asma

Descargar El Plan de Acción para Pacientos con Asma PDF o en inglés, Asthma Action Plan for Ages 5+ PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download a sample asthma action plan for individuals 5 years of age or older, available in English or in Spanish. Print and take it with you to your health care provider visit.

Ages 5+ Asthma Action Plan

Download the Asthma Action Plan for Ages 5+ PDF or en español, El Plan de Acción para Pacientos con Asma PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download a sample asthma action plan for individuals 5 years of age or older, available in English or in Spanish. Print and take it with you to your health care provider visit.

Edades 0-5 Plan Para El Asma Infantil

Descargar el Plan Para el Asma Infantil PDF o en inglés, Asthma Action Plan for Children Ages 0 – 5 PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download a sample asthma action plan for children ages 0 – 5, available in English or in Spanish. Print and take it with you to your health care provider visit.

Ages 0 – 5 Asthma Action Plan

Download the Asthma Action Plan for Children Ages 0 – 5 PDF or en español, Plan Para el Asma Infantil PDF.

 

Every person living with asthma should have an asthma action plan. This is a written document developed by you and your health care provider, listing customized steps to prevent and handle an asthma episode.

Click on the red links above to download a sample asthma action plan for children ages 0 – 5, available in English or in Spanish. Print and take it with you to your health care provider visit.

Spacers

Download the Spacers – What You Need to Know PDF.

 

Many asthma medications come in a small metal canister called a metered dose inhaler (MDI). The inhaler expels the medication in a fast, short burst. It is recommended that you use a spacer (holding chamber) with your MDI. There are many different types of spacers. Your health care provider can prescribe and show you how to use the one that is best for you.

If your health care provider has given you one quick relief inhaler and one long-term controller inhaler, it is important to know which one to use when.

Spacers

When possible, use a spacer with your metered dose inhaler. A spacer is a plastic tube that connects to the mouthpiece of an inhaler and helps get medication deeper into the lungs and airways. It helps direct the medication to the airways so that each dose of medication is more effective.

Clean your spacer and MDI each week to prevent the buildup of medication:

  1. Take the spacer apart (as recommended by manufacturer’s instructions)
  2. Wash each piece separately with warm, soapy water
  3. Do not rinse
  4. Let dry on a clean, lint-free towel

Some spacers have a delicate, soft valve disc under the mouthpiece. Do not rip off the disk. If the disk begins to harden or curl, replace your spacer.

How to Use Your MDI with a Spacer

  1. Remove all food, candy and gum from your mouth.
  2. Stand up straight.
  3. Remove the cap from your inhaler and spacer. Make sure to clean out any dust or fuzz so that there is nothing inside either one.
  4. Shake the inhaler for 5 seconds.
  5. Place the inhaler into the spacer.
  6. Take a deep breath in and out.
  7. Put the spacer in your mouth and seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
  8. Press down on your inhaler and take a long, slow breath in.
  9. Hold your breath for 10 seconds, and then breathe out.

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice.

Peak Flow Meters

Download the Peak Flow Meters – What You Need to Know PDF.

 

Peak flow meters measure how you push air out of your lungs. Your health care provider can prescribe one for you to help manage your asthma. Peak flow meters are usually used with Asthma Action Plans.

Using Your Peak Flow Meter

  1. Remove all food, candy or gum from your mouth.
  2. Stand up straight.
  3. Set the marker to zero.
  4. Take in a deep breath.
  5. Place the peak flow meter in your mouth and seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
  6. Exhale hard and fast into the meter.
  7. Remove the peak flow meter from your mouth.
  8. Look at your number and write it down.
  9. Repeat all the above steps two more times.
  10. After three attempts, record the highest number into your log.

Cleaning Instructions

  1. Clean peak flow meter once a week.
  2. Wash with warm water and a mild liquid soap.
  3. Rinse gently and allow to air dry completely on a lint free towel.
  4. Refer to your peak flow meter instructions for further information.

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice.

Asthma Medications

Download the Asthma Medications – What You Need to Know PDF.

 

There are two main types of asthma medications: quick-relief (or reliever) and long-term control (or controllers). Talk to your health care provider to determine the medication(s) you should use.

Quick-relief Medication (Reliever)

Who should have it?

  • Everyone with asthma should be prescribed quick-relief medication by a health care provider
  • Carry it with you at all times

How does it work?

  • Relieves the squeezing of the muscles around the airways
  • Works within 10 to 15 minutes of use

When should it be used?

  • Upon first warning sign

What are the side effects?

  • Rapid heart rate, shaky hands, jittery feeling
  • Symptoms go away a half-hour after using your medication

What are some common types?

  • Pro Air®
  • Proventil®
  • Ventolin®
  • Xopenex®

Helpful tips

  • Label your quick-relief medication with “QR”
  • Use a spacer with your quick-relief inhaler so the medication gets deeper into your lungs

 

Long-Term Controller Medication

Who Should Have It?

  • Only those with a prescription

How Does It Work?

  • Prevents swelling and mucus build up in the airways
  • Makes airways less sensitive to triggers

When Should It be Used?

  • Every day
  • Even if you do not have symptoms

What are the Side Effects?

  • Hoarseness
  • Thrush, a yeast infection in the mouth (rinse your mouth with water and spit to avoid thrush)

What are Some Common Types?

  • Advair
  • Flovent
  • Pulmincort
  • Qvar
  • Singulair
  • Symbicort

Helpful Tips

  • Do not store in the bathroom (humidity can make medication clump)
  • Use a spacer with your long-term controller inhaler so the medication gets deeper into your lungs

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical advice.