Asthma

  • New Jersey Law requires students with asthma to have an Asthma Treatment Plan on file with the School Nurse.

    Please see the link below for a copy of the Asthma Treatment Plan. This plan must be completed by the physician and signed by both the physician and parent for asthma medication to be administered during the school day. 

    https://www.chclc.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=3165&dataid=6837&FileName=Asthma-Treatment-Plan-2017.pdf


    The Pediatric Asthma Coalition of NJ Asthma Treatment Plan is the only written plan approved by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services as meeting the requirements of the New Jersey Law.

    The Asthma Treatment Plan must be completed and signed by both the treating physician and the child's parent/guardian.

    Asthma is a serious respiratory condition that affects many children and adults.  Over 20 million people have asthma(restrictive airway disease) in the United States. In our school, we have many students with known restrictive airway disease.  Asthma is the number one reason for kids chronically missing school.  Asthma flare-ups are the most common reason for pediatric emergency room visits due to chronic illness.  Untreated asthma can lead to death.

    Some children only have mild, occasional symptoms or show symptoms after exercising. Others may have severe asthma that if left untreated, can drastically affect activity and may cause serious lung damage.

    Asthma is a chronic, inflammatory lung disease that causes the air passages to tighten and narrow, and limit the amount of air that can be passed through.  Anyone can have asthma, infants or adolescents.  The tendency to develop asthma is often inherited. 

    Many children with asthma can breathe normally for weeks or months between flare-ups.  When asthma flare-ups occur they usually seem to occur without warning.  Actually, they probably have been building up over time. 

    All children with asthma have sensitive airways that react to certain triggers like allergies, viral infections, exercise or smoke.  The sensitive airway linings react to triggers by becoming inflamed, swollen, and filled with mucus.  The muscles surrounding the air passages tighten and constrict the expansion of the passages making them even more narrow.

    During an asthma flare, a child may cough, wheeze, have a tight feeling in the chest, sweat, have a rapid heart rate, and/or feel short of breath.

    Treating asthma is initially based on prevention.  One must determine what the triggers are and how to prevent responding to them.  This can be done by avoiding the trigger and/or taking a medication that prevents reaction to the trigger.  If a child with asthma does react to the trigger, the next step would be to take "rescue" medication.  Rescue medication is usually a short-acting, bronchodilator that causes the tight muscles constricting the airways, to relax and allow the airway to expand making breathing more comfortable.  Rescue medication does not cure asthma.  If rescue medication is ineffective then strong anti-inflammatory medications may be utilized. 

    People often misuse their rescue medication by utilizing it to control flare-ups instead of using the first-line, preventative medication.  Overuse of rescue medication can allow further lung damage.  No one should use rescue medication more than twice a week on any regular basis.  If one is using rescue medication that frequently, they should be seen by their doctor for evaluation and probably a change in their preventative medication.  Of course avoiding triggers is the first line of defense.