Shoo With Asthma (NAPSA)—Asthmais the most common chronic condition among children, currently affecting over 7 million children in the U.S. Additionally, asthma is the cause of 36,000 absences from school every day. The changes in temperature and pollen that occur when summer ends and fall begins can bea serious problem for children with asthma, making back-to-school time an especially stressful time of year for parents and caregivers. Asthma is a condition that occurs because of inflammation in both the large and small airways of the lungs, mucus buildup and tightening of the muscles in the airways. Asthma patients experience symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and chest tightness. Fortunately, asthma can be a manageable condition and there are several precautions that caregivers can take to help their child transition smoothly from summer fun to back-to-school time. One of the most important things caregivers of a child with asthma should do is complete an Asthma Action Plan with their child’s physician. Asthma Action Plans are available on a variety of asthma education sites, including www.GetSmartAboutAsthma.com. AsthmaAction Plans include important information such as emergency contact numbers, how to spot danger signs, and lists of medications and whenthey should be taken. “T tell all of my patients and their caregivers to complete an Asthma Action Plan, especially as children are heading back to school, to ensure medications are being taken properly and track be able to take part in any physical activity or sport they choose. After caregivers have com- pleted an Asthma Action Plan with a healthcare practitioner (HCP) and the HCP has determined an appropriate treatment plan, they should schedule a meeting with their child’s teachers, school nurse said Dr. Gary Rachelefsky, associate director of the Allergy- and coaches to review the Asthma Action Plan. By being proactive andreviewing the plan with school personnel, caregivers can be sure that the adults caring for their children during school hours are familiar with asthma treatments and management. When children head back to school in the fall, they are often exposed to germs they were not exposed to in the summer. With back to school comes an increase in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “It is helpful to track when patients are using quick-relief inhalers, becauseif they are using it more than twice a week, they may need to be on a daily controller medication to managetheir persistent asthma.” According to the Centers for with asthma and their caregivers should get a flu shot to minimize the risk of getting the flu, which can be a major asthmatrigger. Prior to sending a child with asthmato school, caregivers should be sure they are aware of the school’s policy on carrying asthma medications. If a child is allowed to in 2010, 58.3 percent of children with current asthma hadat least one asthmaattack in the previous 12 months, showing that the condition is not as well managed asit could be. If a child is having asthma attacks or is showing symptoms on a regularbasis, it is important to talk to a doctor about a treatment plan that mayinclude a controller medication. When asthma medicines are taken as also called a rescue inhaler, be sure to clearly label the inhaler and note how many puffs should be taken.If the child is also on a controller Proactive parents can protect their children from an asthma attack at school. how often medications are used,” Immunology Training Program at Disease Control and Prevention, the doctor directs, children should sickness, such as the flu. Children carry his or her quick relief inhaler, medication, take the controller medication to the nurse’s office and note the times that the inhaler should be used. Caregivers need to take special effort to ensure all medicationsare labeled properly. For additional information and tips on asthma management,visit www.GetSmartAboutAsthma.com.