I get to teach another session of Open Airways at a local elementary school, I'm so excited about it! If you haven't heard of Open Airways, it's a free 6 week course (taught once a week for 40 minutes) for kids aged 8-11 with asthma. It's sponsored by the American Lung Association.
What I like about the program is that is interactive. It really gets the kids involved and it empowers them to be able to understand their asthma and better control it.
I also like that there is a handout each day that goes home to the student's family, so they can know what was taught that day. They learn:
- how to belly breathe
- how to identify their asthma medicine (which inhaler is for daily use, which one is for the rescue inhaler?)
- identify what their triggers are
- learn the 5 emergency signs of asthma
- six ways to stay active
- deciding when to go to school and when to stay home
It also helps them feel like they aren't the only student in the school with asthma. I remember one class where we talked about what to do if someone teases you because you have asthma and need to use your inhaler.
In elementary school, it seems like most students want to fit in, they don't want to be "different" because they have asthma. That lesson talks about how to handle teasing when they have asthma. It was heart warming to see the kids supporting each other. They seemed to want to protect each other from teasing.
There is so much to learn, I can't explain it all in a blog. This video from American Lung Association explains it a little better.
Contact your state chapter and ask for it to be taught in your student's school.
You will be glad you did! :)