Asthma Action Plan for children
15 September, 2023
An asthma flare-up can be scary, particularly for young children. It’s vital educators have clear instructions so they can respond quickly. If your child has asthma – no matter how well managed – please make sure we’ve got a copy of their current Asthma Action Plan so we can give them the best possible care.
Asthma Action Plan for children
About 10 percent of Australian children aged 0-14 have asthma as a long-term condition, as reported to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Asthma is a medical condition that narrows a person’s airways, making it hard to breathe. Childhood asthma symptoms can include wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing. All children who have asthma should have a dedicated action plan to ensure their health and safety when entering the schooling system – and that includes early learning centres.
What is an Asthma Action Plan?
An Asthma Action Plan is a document developed by a child’s doctor in consultation with their parent or carer. Asthma in toddlers and asthma in children can be very individual. The action plan provides information about a child’s personalised asthma management. It tells caregivers what triggers a particular child’s childhood asthma symptoms and gives caregivers clear instructions on how to care for a child in specific circumstances.
How does an Asthma Action Plan work?
When parents give Edge Early Learning their child’s Asthma Action Plan, we share this with the educators who care for their child. Having a plan in place helps our educators be mindful of childhood asthma symptoms and gives them the practical information they need to respond appropriately. For example, if there have been bushfires and smoke triggers a child’s asthma, an educator may facilitate more indoor play.
What are the benefits of having an Asthma Action Plan?
Experts agree there are a number of benefits to having an Asthma Action Plan in place, including:
- Reduced absences at school and kindergarten;
- Reduced hospital admissions, emergency visits and doctor visits;
- Reduced medication use and;
- Improved lung function.
What is included in an Asthma Action Plan?
An Asthma Action Plan sets out clear instructions on using the child’s preventers, relievers and any other medication in particular circumstances. It gives caregivers detailed information on a child’s personal childhood asthma symptoms, how to respond and what doses to give in situations when asthma is well-controlled, flaring up, severe or an emergency. It advises what symptoms are an emergency, when to call an ambulance and how to provide emergency first aid. Your doctor will create this plan with you.
Caregiver tips for managing children with asthma in early learning centres and schools
It’s perfectly reasonable for parents to worry about managing their child’s asthma when they’re in someone else’s care, whether that’s at school or an early learning centre. We encourage parents to talk to us about their child’s medical needs right from the start of their journey at Edge Early Learning so we can be sure to give them the support they need. We recommend the following strategies:
- Outline your child’s medical conditions in enrolment forms and interviews;
- Provide emergency medication and a written copy of your child’s Asthma Action Plan to educators, and;
- Educate your child before starting school on what to do in an emergency so they know to approach staff and seek help.
Edge Early Learning’s Approach
Edge Early Learning is committed to supporting children with asthma. We work hand-in-hand with parents to ensure educators are aware of each child’s medical conditions and personalised Asthma Action Plans before their education begins at an Edge Early Learning centre.