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WHAT IS A WRITTEN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN?
A written Asthma Action Plan is one of the most important things you need if you have asthma.
Everyone with asthma needs a written Asthma Action Plan.
An Asthma Action Plan is your instructions on how to manage your asthma, and what to do if you do have a flare-up or asthma attack.
Having a written Asthma Action Plan helps you self-manage your asthma. In fact, most flare-ups can be managed by following your Asthma Action Plan, saving you an extra trip to your doctor.
WHICH ASTHMA ACTION PLAN DO I NEED?
Everyone with asthma should have a written Asthma Action Plan like this one. Children should have one of these for use at home:
It has 4 main sections:
- How to look after your asthma on a daily basis.
- What to do if your asthma starts to flare-up.
- What to do if your asthma flare-up is severe.
- What to do in an asthma emergency.
If you are at risk of anaphylaxis it may also include when to use an EpiPen or adrenaline autoinjector, and how to do so.
If your child is in childcare, day-care, kindergarten or other outside school care, they will also need an Asthma Care Plan. This helps their carer or educator know how to take care of your child with asthma.
Your child's teacher or school nurse will need an Asthma Care Plan for your child along with a spare reliever and spacer to use at school.
Victorian schools have different Action Plan requirements to other states. There is a selection of templates based on which reliever your child uses.
Your child's teacher or school nurse will need their School Asthma Action Plan along with a spare reliever and spacer to use at school.
The most common plan is the puffer and spacer plan. This is the correct plan if your child uses a blue/grey reliever puffer.
Other Victorian School Action Plans:
WHY DO I NEED A WRITTEN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN?
Even if you know what to do when your asthma flares up, it is very useful to have clear instructions from your doctor written down in an emergency. We suggest you keep it somewhere easy to find, like on the fridge or stuck inside the door of your medicine cabinet.
All carers and family members should be aware of your written Asthma Action Plan, so they can assist in the event of an asthma emergency.
It is critical that you have an up-to-date written Asthma Action Plan and that you understand it and are able to follow the instructions on it. It should not be written for you, but always written with you.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD AN ASTHMA ACTION PLAN BE REVIEWED?
Adults should have their Asthma Action Plan reviewed every year.
Children should have their Asthma Action Plan reviewed every six months.
Your Asthma Action Plan also needs updating whenever medications change, or if symptoms change.
Schools require Asthma Action Plans to be completed or reviewed at least annually for each student.
Want to know more about your written Asthma Action Plan?
Everyone with asthma has different experiences and levels of symptoms, so everyone’s written Asthma Action Plan will be personalised and different.
It may be a simple document, but a Written Asthma Action Plan is one of the most effective asthma interventions we have.