Developing an Asthma Action Plan
What Is an Asthma Action Plan?
An asthma action plan is a written plan developed by your doctor or asthma specialist to help you or another family member, including teenagers and children, manage asthma and prevent asthma attacks. The plan is designed to tell you or other family members what to do when there are changes in the severity of asthma symptoms and, although used less frequently today, in peak flow numbers.
How Are Asthma Action Plans Designed?
An asthma action plan gives you and your family important health information that can be used in the event that you or other family members (including teenagers and children) with asthma experience an asthma emergency.
Asthma action plans can be organized in a number of ways. Your asthma action plan may include:
- A list of asthma triggers that are responsible for asthma symptoms and how to avoid them
- A list of routine asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, and excess mucus production, as well as what you should do if these symptoms occur
- The name and dose of the daily asthma medication that needs to be taken even when you don't have asthma symptoms
- The name and dose of the quick-acting, rescue, or relief medication that needs to be taken when you develop asthma symptoms
- Emergency telephone numbers and locations of emergency care
- Instructions about when to contact the doctor, whom to call if the doctor is unavailable, and a list of where to get emergency asthma treatment
The asthma action plan outlines everything you need to do for a normal day with no asthma problems to a time of asthma emergency. Make sure your child’s teacher and any other adult caregiver has a copy of this asthma action plan.