of asthma that
require prompt action:
require prompt action to help students resume their activities
as soon as possible. Prompt action is also required to prevent
an episode from becoming more serious or even life threatening.
student's asthma plan and the school's emergency plan should
be easily accessible so that all staff, substitutes, volunteers,
and aides know what to do.
that may indicate poorly controlled asthma:
wheezing, chest tightness, or shortness of breath after
vigorous physical activity, on a recurring basis.
Low level of
physical activity or reluctance to participate.
observations of the symptoms with the school nurse and the
student's parents or guardians. Helping students get the
medical attention they need is an important way to help
children become active and take control of their condition.
convenient access to their asthma medication.
Is it an asthma episode or a need for more support?
At some times
teachers and coaches may wonder if a student's reported symptoms
indicate a desire for attention or a desire not to participate
in an activity. At other times it may seem that students are
overreacting to minimal symptoms.
It is always
essential to respect the student's report of his or her own
condition. If a student regularly asks to be excused from recess
or avoids physical activity, a real physical problem may be
present. It also may be that the student needs more assistance
and support from his or her teacher and coach in order to become
an active participant.
Talk with the
Learn his or
her concerns about asthma and activity.
reassurance that you understand the importance of
appropriate modifications or activity limits.
shared understanding about the conditions that require
activity modifications or medications.
Consult with the
school nurse, parent/guardian, or health care provider to find
ways to ensure that the student is safe, feels safe, and is
encouraged to participate actively.
If the student
uses a peak flow meter, remind him or her to use it. This may
help the student appreciate his or her asthma status and
appropriate levels of activity.
Using a Metered Dose Inhaler
It is important
that students take their
medications correctly. Many asthma
medications are delivered by metered dose inhalers, which are
highly effective, but they can be difficult to use.
The school nurse
or health room technician should review proper use of the
inhaler with the student.
These instructions are provided for your information.
How to Use a
Metered Dose Inhaler:
Take off the
cap. Shake the inhaler.
As you start to
breathe in, push down on the top of the inhaler and keep
breathing in slowly for 3 to 5 seconds.
Hold your breath
for 10 seconds. Breathe out.
Note: Dry powder
capsules are used differently. To use a
dry powder inhaler,
close your mouth tightly around the mouthpiece and breathe in
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