‘Asthma Mom’ Video Blog: Empowering Teens to Self-Manage
When children are young, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of their asthma, says asthma mom Andrea Jensen. “You’re not sure what’s going on with their symptoms, or when to go to the doctor or the ER … And the same can happen when they are in their teenage years.”
1. Make sure your teen knows how to self-manage their asthma. “I’m not going to follow my child around forever, so I want to make sure my child knows what to do to avoid symptoms and handle emergencies,” she says.
2. Create an Asthma Action Plan with your child’s doctor that identifies their asthma triggers, explains when to get help, and when to use a daily or quick-relief inhaler or their nebulizer.
3. Make sure your teen knows how to ask for help — for example, asking if foods in the school cafeteria contain an allergen before eating it.
4. Meet with teachers when school starts and let them know about your child’s asthma and what to do when problems arise. Since many teens like to be discreet about their asthma, consider asking the teacher and your child to develop a “Secret Sign” so that the teacher will allow your child to quietly exit the classroom to use an asthma inhaler.