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1 Insert presenter Information here MANAGINGASTHMA IN SCHOOLSInsert presenterInformation here
2 What’s the big deal? Asthma… Is the most common chronic disease of childrenEffects 1 in 5 children in OntarioIs the leading cause of school absenteeism and emergency room visitsCan be life threatening if not properly controlledIs poorly controlled in >60% of cases
3 ASTHMA IS… Inflammation of the airways (extra-sensitive or twitchy airways) 3 changes occur in airways:muscles around airways tightenlining of the airways becomes swollenmucous production increases
4 SIGNS OF WORSENING ASTHMA Changes in airways can lead to:CoughingWheezing (not always heard)Chest tightnessShortness of breath
5 ASTHMA TRIGGERS Common triggers include: Colds/Respiratory Viruses Airways are supersensitive and react to certain “triggers”A trigger is anything that makes asthma worseTriggers are unique to each child with asthmaCommon triggers include:Colds/Respiratory VirusesExerciseGrass/pollenCold/Hot WeatherDust & dust mitesFurry/feathered petsSmokeAir pollutionStrong smells
6 ASTHMA MEDICATIONS Controllers (orange, brown, purple, red) Long-acting, slow working (days to weeks)Usually taken at home every day to control symptomsWill not help during an acute asthma “attack”Relievers: (usually blue)Fast-acting (within 5-10 minutes)Taken to relieve symptoms during an asthma “attack”Taken before exercise, if needed, to prevent onset of symptomsNeed to be accessible at all times
7 A CHILD’S ASTHMA IS GETTING WORSE … WHAT DO YOU DO?
8 1. RECOGNIZE THE SIGNS Coughing (continual) Increased breathing rate Complaining of chest tightnessIncreased use of reliever medicationWheezing (not always heard)Increased restlessness and irritabilityTiredness
9 2. RESPOND Ensure fast-acting reliever inhaler is given as soon as possible. (Should improve breathing within minutes)Tell the child to breathe slowly & deeply. (Support privacy if child appears anxious)Stay calm! Remain with & reassure the child.
10 Minor episodes should not affect a child’s involvement in school 3. FOLLOW-UPMinor episodes should not affect a child’s involvement in schoolWhen they feel better they can return to normal activitiesMedication use should be recordedParent should be notified about the episodeNote: If the child requires the inhaler again in less then 4 hours the parent should be notified to seek medical attention
11 SEVERE WARNING SIGNS ANY of the following may be observed: Lips or fingernails become blue or grayBreathing is difficult and fast (>25/min)Can only say 1-3 words between breathsBreathing will involve the whole ribcageVery agitatedORNo improvement within 5-10 minutes after taking reliever inhaler
12 THIS IS AN EMERGENCY Call 911 immediately. Tell them you have a child who is experiencing SHORTNESS OF BREATH.Give reliever inhaler immediately.Continue to give reliever inhaler every few minutes until help arrives.Never leave a child who is experiencing serious breathing problems alone.
13 Plan ahead…think ASTHMA ! Asthma: Know what it is and who has it.Signs of worsening asthma: Be able to recognize & respond tothem.Triggers: Know what they are and how to reduce them.Have a plan to manage asthma episodes.Medications: Ensure easy access to fast-acting reliever.Access resources.
14 THINGS TO CONSIDER DOES YOUR SCHOOL HAVE… A process to identify students with asthma?A process/protocol which allows students easy access to their (emergency) medication?A school-wide process for handling worsening asthma?A process to identify & reduce triggers?A mechanism to communicate & collaborate with families, and health care professionals?