Management and Prevention
Medications play a vital role in the management of asthma.
The two types are:
• Relievers or short acting bronchodilators (commonly known as inhalers), are used for quick relief. They open the airways and make breathing easier by reversing airway spasms (i.e. Ventolin, Bricanyl);
• Preventers/Controllers are used to keep the disease under control by preventing the development of symptoms (i.e. corticosteroid, anti-allergic, and anti-leukotriene).
As well, the following preventative guidelines for school staff may be helpful:
• do not keep furry animals or birds in the classroom;
• if a child is very allergic to specific animals, he or she should not sit next to a child with that type of pet at home;
• do not ask the child to clean chalk-filled rags or brushes;
• if a child is allergic to pollen, do not sit him or her next to an open window in the spring or fall;
• regularly clean and air: gym mats; shoes; lockers; classroom carpeting; and old library books, since they are often loaded with dust and mold;
• be aware that strong odours from cosmetics, perfume, chemicals, cleaning fluids and art supplies may be irritating;
• if possible try to make sure the child does not sit next to someone with a respiratory infection;
• give the child the option of spending recess indoors on a very cold, humid or windy day;
• provide the child with a normal classroom experience: treat the child as you would any other child; encourage the child to participate in activities within his or her limits; do not regard the child as ill or isolate the child.