Parents/guardians are responsible for providing the program with up-to-date information about their child’s/youth’s asthma. Information should be provided at the start of each session/season and when the child’s or youth’s asthma information changes.
Educate your child so that they understand
- common asthma triggers;
- signs of worsening asthma and when to ask for help;
- the importance of being physically active;
- the importance of carrying medication with them at all times; and
- how to self-administer medication.
The following responsibility checklist includes things you can do to assist in the management of your child’s asthma while participating.
Step 1: Establish a process to identify that your child has asthma.
Tell the program and staff that your child has asthma. When the registration form asks about health information, inform them about your child’s asthma and use of asthma medicines.
Consider having your child wear medical identification (e.g., a MedicAlert™ bracelet or similar item) to identify that he or she has asthma.
Step 2: Ensure your child has easy access to asthma medication.
Complete and return any required medication administration forms.
If your child is capable of using his or her own inhaler, ensure that he or she
- has his or her reliever inhaler (usually blue) accessible at all times (the inhaler needs to be with him or her at all times); and
- knows when and how to use the inhaler correctly.
Make sure that the inhaler is kept in an accessible location so that it is within reach at all times.
If your child needs help to use the inhaler, provide information on how to give the inhaler medications correctly and review the technique with staff caring for your child.
Prepare your child/youth for off-site games, events and excursions and discuss any issues with the supervising staff. Remember to send the reliever medication (usually blue) and other medications your child may need to take during the trip. If the trip is overnight, remember to send the controller medication as well, if prescribed.
Ensure that your child knows how and when to use asthma medication safely. Make sure he or she
- has his or her name on the medication;
- does not share medication with others;
- knows when the medication is empty and a new one is needed;
- tells you (parent/guardian) every time he or she takes his or her medication; and
- tells a staff member if he or she needs help taking the medication independently and/or needs help.
Step 3: Establish a process for handling worsening asthma.
Complete and return the Asthma Management Plan form to the program. This form contains your child’s photograph, emergency contacts, information about your child’s asthma triggers and reliever medication (including where it’s located) and how to recognize and respond to asthma symptoms and emergency situations. Pictures should be recent photographs of the head and shoulders, approx. 2.0" x 2.5". This form will be posted in the staff room/health room and/or where appropriate (given parent/guardian permission).
Provide the teacher/coach/recreation leader with a copy of the Asthma Management Plan form so he or she will know about your child’s triggers, your child’s medications and what to do when his or her asthma gets worse.
Review with your child the Asthma Management Plan form and how to prevent and handle asthma symptoms.
Step 4: Identify and reduce exposure to common asthma triggers for your child.
Talk to the instructor/coach/staff about the triggers that affect your child/youth.
Step 5: Encourage your child to participate in physical and recreational activities and competitive sports.
Talk to your child about the benefits of participating in physical and recreational activities. Do not let your child’s/youth’s asthma be a barrier to being active.
Step 6: Provide opportunities for asthma education (e.g., for staff, coaches, other parents/guardians and volunteers).
Be an asthma champion and talk to the staff about how to support your child and create asthma friendly experiences.