Asthma and Afterschool

What makes asthma a big problem with school children?
- It is the number one reason for school absenteeism due to a chronic illness
- Allergies and irritants can cause an asthma episode
- Children can be exposed to many irritants in the school environment that can be controlled such as:

                                          ·       Perfume
                                          ·       Markers with strong odors
                                          ·       Mold
                                          ·       Furry pets
                                          ·       Strong Cleaning products

č There are early warning signs to indicate when a child is having difficulty breathing and early treatment can reduce the chance of a more serious episode.

These symptoms could indicate a child has asthma and should see his or her doctor:
? A cough lasting more than a week.
? Wheezing or whistling when breathing
? Chest tightness
? Shortness of breath
The American Lung Association says an asthma attack occurs when extra mucus clogs air tubes, making them swell and tighten. The air tubes narrow, making it harder to breathe. Asthma medicine should provide relief.

But in the case of a severe attack, the child may —
? become breathless
? have trouble talking
? feel their neck stiffen
? see their lips and fingernails become grayish or bluish in color In case of a severe attack, give your child his or her asthma medicine, and get emergency help immediately.

Following a doctor’s advice about taking asthma medication may help prevent asthma attacks. Learning what triggers attacks can help prevent them,

too. For example, taking asthma medication before physical activity, playing sports for shorter periods of time or substituting walking for jogging may help.

Common-sense changes can allow children to do the things they enjoy, while remaining healthy.

For FREE Parent Health Education and NJ Family Care workshops at your school or program, please contact:

Nancy Voltz
Account Manager of Schools
AMERIGROUP Community Care
New Jersey Health Plan
877-453-4080  x66206 or

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