An Asthma Action Plan is a tool to assist you and your child in managing their asthma . Action Plans hold key guidelines and instructions on what to do to help manage asthma exacerbations and are usually designed like a stoplight with green, yellow, and red "zones". The plan is based on your child's peak flow readings as compared to their recorded personal best. These numbers are inputted into the different colored zones to assist you in predicting a possible change in your child's asthma status. The green or "go" area is when the child is not having any problems and breathing is normal. The yellow or "caution" zone is when problems with breathing initiate and a cough, wheeze, or tight chest may occur. Finally, the red zone or "stop and get help" portion of the plan relays what to do when symptoms occur when the medication is not helping and breathing problems have gotten worse.
Asthma Action Plans also collect information such as triggers and provide instruction on when to change or increase medication based on signs of potential problems. Asthma Action Plans are particularly helpful in preventing multiple visits to the emergency room. It is very important that you and your child follow the plan as written by your asthma health care provider and that the plan is up-to-date. Don't forget to share the Asthma Action Plan with your child's school nurse and childcare provider or anyone else that your child spends time with. Communication with everyone in your child's life and with your health care provider is an important part of using the Asthma Action Plan to help manage asthma and executing the plan in place when signs of an exacerbations arrive.