How to Make an Asthma Action Plan for Your Child
The Red Zone
This zone means DANGER. Call your doctor right away if your child's in this zone. Your plan may ask him to take his "rescue" meds. If you think the symptoms are severe, don't hesitate to call 911.
Here's what to watch for:
- His breathing is hard and fast.
- His nose is open wide.
- He has trouble walking.
- He's not talking well.
- His ribs are showing.
What to Do With Your Plan
After your doctor gives you the action plan, don't keep it hidden. Post it and share it. Hang it where everyone in the house can see it. And go over it with your child so you both understand it.
Also give a copy to everyone who cares for your child, such as:
- Teachers or day care workers
- School nurse
- Camp counselors
Review the plan with your child's doctor at least once every 6 months. If your youngster is often in the yellow zone, make sure he's taking his medicine the right way and using the correct inhaler technique. He may need to get to a higher dose to get his asthma under control.
If your doctor switches your child to a new medicine or increases the dose, note it on the plan. Then, hand out a new copy to everyone who needs it.
Your action plan won't "cure" your child's asthma, but it can make a huge difference in how well he keeps it under control. These simple rules can give you peace of mind when breathing problems flare.