Children/youth with asthma need to understand how to manage their asthma. Children and youth who learn how to manage and control their asthma are able to participate in physical and recreational activities and competitive sports.
Step 1: Complete the process to identify yourself as a child or youth with asthma.
Have your parent/guardian complete an Asthma Management Plan form that explains how to manage your asthma.
Give your instructor/coach a copy of the Asthma Management Plan form so he or she will know about your triggers, your medications and what to do if your asthma gets worse.
Step 2: Ensure you have easy access to asthma medication.
Have your reliever inhaler (usually blue) with you at all times or know where it is stored and how to get it quickly.
Know how and when to use your asthma medication safely by using the following guidelines:
Make sure your medication has your name on it.
- Do not share your medication with friends.
- Know when your medication is empty and you need a new one.
- Tell your parent/guardian and instructor/coach every time you take your medication.
- Tell your instructor/coach if you are uncomfortable with taking your own medication and need help.
Step 3: Establish a process for handling worsening asthma.
Tell your instructor/coach when your asthma is bothering you.
Know how to
- recognize when your asthma is worsening;
- use your asthma medications; and
- tell your instructor/coach that you are having problems breathing and whether or not you have used your asthma medication. If you don’t have your asthma medication, make sure that you let the instructor/coach know.
Step 4: Identify and reduce common asthma triggers.
Know what triggers your asthma (what makes your asthma worse) and have a plan (know the steps to take) for handling your asthma triggers.
If you think something is triggering your asthma and causing you troubled breathing or coughing, let your instructor/coach know.
Step 5: Participate in physical and recreational activities and competitive sports.
Do not let your asthma get in your way of being physically active or enjoying recreational activities. If asthma symptoms start, stop the activity and take your reliever inhaler. Only return to your activity if your symptoms are completely gone.
Step 6: Engage in asthma education.
Learn about asthma by
- attending asthma education programs;
- seeing your health care provider on a regular basis; and
- checking out www.asthmakids.ca.
If you feel comfortable talking about asthma, let your friends know that you have asthma, what it means and how they can help you.