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Here's Why You Should Have an Asthma Action Plan for Your Child

Here's Why You Should Have an Asthma Action Plan for Your Child

Over 5 million American children have asthma, a lung condition that narrows airways and makes breathing difficult. Though treatable, asthma is often unpredictable when you’re learning about your child’s response to triggers and the patterns of their attacks. An important management tool is an asthma action plan

Dr 2 Kids, Smita Tandon, MD, and her team are asthma specialists, ready to help you develop your child’s action plan. It covers all aspects of their care, through all stages of asthma activity, from daily preventive medications through responses to asthma attacks of varying intensity. 

The reason for an asthma action plan

An asthma action plan, created with the assistance of your child’s pediatrician, serves as a tool to help you control the impact of asthma on your child’s life. The intention is to prevent or reduce asthma attacks to minimize doctor and hospital visits. 

Asthma can be very personal, with each patient having their own patterns, reactions, and triggers. Each child’s action plan will therefore be unique. It organizes key information about the medications the patient takes and when to use them. 

The plan lists asthma triggers, conditions and situations that can bring on an asthma attack. These can include exposure to pollen, pet dander, fragrances, or environmental pollutants. Some children react to certain foods or food additives, cold or humid weather, or exercise. There’s plenty of trial and error involved with trigger identification, so the action plan serves as an active document to help you develop your child’s asthma profile. 

It’s often important to recognize the onset symptoms of asthma flare-ups, so the action plan includes these as well as the appropriate actions to take when symptoms emerge. This is key when a major attack occurs, since early management, such as using a rescue inhaler, can sidestep an asthma emergency. 

Using an asthma action plan

Many plans use a green, yellow, and red zone code system to organize the stages of your child’s asthma reactions. Plans include your child’s name, primary care physician, and emergency contact information so it’s a useful document to share with their school or others who have your child under their care. 

Green zone

Also called the safety zone, this stage covers the day-to-day management of asthma when your child feels good. It includes daily medications including dosages and times. Consistent management of preventive medications is a key factor in reducing the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks. 

Yellow zone

This is the caution zone, usually starting after exposure to a known trigger, or when coughing and mild wheezing starts. Any changes to green zone medications are noted as well as additional steps that may be necessary. 

Red zone

When your child has a serious episode, the red or danger zone outlines the steps needed to treat the attack and obtain emergency medical care. 

You can familiarize yourself with these asthma action plan templates available from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Dr. Tandon helps you to complete your child’s asthma action plan so that it’s consistent with your child’s asthma treatment. Call or click to schedule an appointment to start or update your child’s plan today.

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