Asthma education for kids is a way to empower asthmatic children living with the chronic disease. The more your child knows about this condition, the better he or she can manage symptoms. By creating an Asthma Action Plan with your child’s health care provider, you can help your child avoid asthma triggers, recognize the warning signs of a possible asthma episode and take control.
Peak Flow Meter
Asthma information for kids should include knowledge of how to use a peak flow meter, a device that tells how well a child is able to push air out of his or her lungs. The meter provides a tangible way for your child to monitor his or her condition and detect warning signs of breathing difficulties.
The peak flow meter has a green, yellow and red tab that a health care provider slides to a specific spot to indicate an “asthma zone.” After blowing into the peak flow meter, an arrow will point to a number that corresponds to a color on the tab. With your child, compare the color on the tab to the asthma zone on the Asthma Action Plan, and follow the instructions.
Asthma Action Plan
In addition to including your child’s basic information (name, important phone numbers and so on), an Asthma Action Plan lists your child’s asthma triggers, medications, severity of asthma and peak flow meter personal best. The plan is divided into three zones, which correspond to the colored tab on the peak flow meter: green, yellow and red. If your child doesn’t have the peak flow meter handy, the action plan describes symptoms your child may feel within each zone.
The Green Zone is when there are no asthma-related symptoms. The Yellow Zone is for when your child begins to experience some difficulties breathing. When your child is in the Red Zone, he or she is experiencing a breathing emergency and needs to go to the emergency room. Each zone provides a set of instructions to help control an asthma episode, including a list of medications and their dosage.
Work with your child’s health care provider when creating an Asthma Action Plan. If the provider doesn’t have an action plan form, you can download one here.
Once your child is old enough to read, help her to remember to refer to the Asthma Action Plan each time she uses her peak flow meter. You can also help your child by providing caregivers and other adults with helpful asthma information and a copy of the Asthma Action Plan.