[Over the next couple of months, we will be outlining asthma management tips and strategies to help early learning practitioners better serve preschool-aged children. This blog is the third in the series. Click here to read the first and here to read the second.]

Managing a child’s asthma can be difficult, especially if you face some barriers that prevent proper care efforts. These barriers could be parent-related, environmental-related or medication-related. Here are some examples:

Parent-related barriers include:

  • Failure to return medication forms
  • Noncompliance
  • Difficult to contact
  • Failure to pick up child after an asthma attack
  • Lack of education about asthma
  • Lack of understanding that asthma is chronic and requires ongoing care

Steps toward a solution: A written, individualized action plan for each child with asthma at your Center can clarify what information is required of parents that would address these issues.

Environmental-related barriers include:

  • Old carpets
  • Mold or leaky roofs
  • No AC
  • Plants and pets in classroom
  • Improper cleaning
  • Delivery truck exhaust
  • Construction
  • Strong smells (perfume, hairspray, air fresheners, cleaning chemicals, etc.)

Steps toward a solution: It is good practice to check the ventilation at your center. Work on identifying, reducing or eliminating exposure to allergens and irritants. Try converting to “green” products when purchasing pesticides, paint, air fresheners and cleaning chemicals.

Medication-related barriers include:

  • Children not receiving instruction on how to deal with exercise-induced asthma
  • Children with symptoms but no definitive diagnose, which can lead to no asthma management plan No inhaler

Steps toward a solution: It is helpful to set your calendar to regularly check on medication expiration dates, replace filters on nebulizers, update emergency contacts, and update records on any new triggers.

If you are looking for an educational program that addresses asthma in the classroom, Breathe Pennsylvania offers a 2-3 hour asthma training for Early Learning Practitioners. For more information contact me at jsimms@breathepa.org

Join me next month to continue our discussion on Asthma Management Tips for Early Learning Practitioners!