Lesson Plans is for Asthma For children 4-5 years of age

Lesson Plans
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
is for Asthma
For children 4-5 years of age
North Carolina Child Care Health & Safety Resource Center
Providing Training, Consultation & Resources
for North Carolina’s Child Care Community
January 1999
Dear Early Childhood Professional:
Thank you for your interest in the “A is for Asthma” training module, a component of
the ABC’s of Safe and Healthy Child Care Curriculum, produced by the NC Child Care Health
and Safety Resource Center.
Asthma is the most common chronic disease of children. It affects 1 in every 14 children in the
United States and the numbers are increasing. Families need your help to make child care a safe
and healthy place for children with asthma. When children with asthma receive appropriate medical
management, they can participate in all of the activities that they enjoy!
We hope that you find “A is for Asthma” useful and welcome your comments about the training
materials. If you would like more information about how to make your child care program
asthma-friendly, please contact the North Carolina Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center
at 1-800-367-2229.
Linda Raker Rogers, R.N., M.S.N., F.N.P.
Child Care Health Consultant
Kathryn Brownfield, R.N., M.Ed.
1100 Wake Forest Rd.
• Raleigh, NC 27604 • Fax 919.834.5068 • www.healthychildcarenc.org • 1-800-367-2229
A Guide to Using “A is for Asthma”
Contents of Module:
❏ Lesson Plans
❏ Black Gloves
❏ Velcro Dots
❏ Caregiver’s Guide
❏ Ping-Pong Balls
❏ Sample Parent Letter
❏ Elmo Stuffed Toy
❏ Drinking Straws
❏ Asthma Profile Sheet
from the Children’s
Television Workshop, Inc.
Module Outline
Lesson One: Everyone Breathes
Lesson Two: Sometimes My Friend Has Trouble Breathing
Lesson Three: A Visit From Elmo
Instructions for the Child Care Provider
The “A is for Asthma” module is intended for use with four and five year olds. Lessons are designed
to help children develop concepts of normal breathing and troubled breathing. Children learn that
everyone breathes and that there are lots of fun ways to use your breath! In Lesson Two children
learn ways to help friends who have trouble breathing. The third lesson helps children recognize
potential asthma triggers.
The content and activities of each lesson are fun, not frightening. Children who witness or experience an asthma attack can be understandably frightened. The goal of this training is to make child
care a safer place for children (and adults) with asthma.
The success of this unit will be enhanced by participation of parents and health professionals from
your community. Notify parents in advance that you will be talking about asthma. A sample parent
letter is included for copying. Contact a physician, nurse, or child care health consultant to help you
develop a health policy related to caring for children with asthma in your program.
Dear Families,
On ___________________________________________ (fill in the date), I will be showing your
child an entertaining video called Sesame Street A Is for Asthma. The video features a Muppet named
Dani, an active and fun-loving child who has asthma. Dani and his friends explain what asthma is
and how Dani keeps it under control by taking medicine and visiting the doctor. The Sesame Street
Muppets sing, dance, and talk about asthma in a way that children can understand and enjoy.
You may wonder why I plan to show the children a video about this topic. The fact is that asthma is
on the rise nationwide. And with one child in 14 now having asthma, there’s a good chance that one
of your children or one of their friends may have it. The video is designed to reduce children’s fears
and tell them how they might be able to help someone with asthma.
What Your Child Will Learn
Dani and his friends will teach your child that:
• All people breathe, even when they’re not thinking about it.
• People with asthma sometimes have trouble breathing.
• Though children with asthma sometimes have trouble with physical activities, they can run
and play just like other kids if they take their medicine and see their doctor regularly.
• Children who don’t have asthma can help their friends who do.
Your child will also learn to follow this three-part Asthma Action Plan when he or a friend
has trouble breathing: 1. Sit down. 2. Stay calm. 3. Get help.
What Is Asthma?
Asthma is a serious condition. Left untreated, children can die from it. But when asthma is treated
properly, youngsters who have it can lead as active a life as those who don’t. Although the exact
causes of asthma are not known, it’s definitely not contagious.
Asthma occurs when the airways in a child’s lungs become supersensitive to something that
irritates them. This “something,” which is called a trigger, leaves the airways swollen and
blocked. Then it becomes hard for air to go in and out, which is why children with asthma
sometimes have trouble breathing.
Each child has his own set of asthma triggers. On the video, Dani’s triggers were furry animals and
dust. Other children may be sensitive to mold or mildew, grass or tree pollen, temperature changes,
perfumes, cockroaches, household chemicals, or cigarette smoke. Children with asthma are healthier
when they reduce their exposure to their particular triggers.
Warning Signs And Symptoms
Asthma is difficult to diagnose, because sometimes its symptoms are just like those of the common
cold. You should check with your doctor if what seems like a cold lasts more than two weeks, or
your child exhibits any of these symptoms:
• Coughing that persists at night or for more than a week, or during or after exercise
• Shortness of breath
• Tightness in the chest
• Wheezing
Please Work With Me
Asthma is an illness that doesn’t go away, even when symptoms are absent. That means it requires
continuous care, including preventive medicines – those given on a regular basis to prevent symptoms from occurring. Although it’s a serious condition, asthma is treatable, and episodes can be prevented or reduced in number and severity.
You can help by providing me with important information. If your child has asthma, please come in
and fill out your child’s Asthma Profile so we can work together to manage the condition. In the
coming days, ask your child about Dani and the video to see what he or she has learned. Consider
adding the information you’ve learned about asthma with your friends and relatives. And if you want
to know more about asthma, please contact me for additional information, or get in touch with one
of the groups below.
Your Child’s Caregiver
For More Information About Asthma
Contact the following organizations for
additional information and resources
about asthma:
American Lung Association
800-LUNGUSA www.lungusa.org
Calling this number will connect you
to the ALA office in your community.
Allergy and Asthma Network/
Mothers of Asthmatics, Inc.
800-878-4403 www.aanma.org
The National Association
of Child Care Resource and
Referral Agencies
Child Care Aware 800-424-2246
Call to find the number of the
CCR&R in your area. Spanish language
callers are welcome. www.naccrra.net
Lesson Plan 1 • A is for Asthma Series
Send parent letters
home with children
before Lesson One.
For children 4 - 5 years of age
Lesson One:
Everyone Breathes
To help children understand the important role that breathing plays.
Tell the children that today they are going to learn how to use their
breath to do lots of fun things. Remind them that they breathe
without even thinking about it!
Activity Suggestion (10 minutes each)
Tummy Breathing, Blow Painting, and Ping Pong Ball Races
Tummy Breathing
Tummy Breathing can be used by anyone to stay calm during an
asthma attack. It’s a great relaxation tool!
Here’s How
1. Demonstrate: “Breathe in together through our noses and blow
the air slowly out of our mouths using pursed lips.”
2. Demonstrate: “Place your hands on your tummy. When you
breathe in, your tummy should get big like a balloon.When you
breathe out, your tummy should get small like a balloon that’s
lost its air.”
3. “Now let’s put the first two steps together. Air in through your
nose, out through your mouth. Tummy big, tummy small.”
(Repeat 5 times)
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
Blow Painting
You can use your breath to paint a picture.
Materials Needed
Washable tempera paint, water, straw, paper, newspaper
Here’s How
1. Cover your work area with newspaper.
2. Dilute the tempera paint with water until it is the consistency
of salad dressing.
3. Give each child a sheet of paper.
4. Put a quarter-sized dab of the diluted tempera paint on the paper
for each child. (You may use more than one color.)
5. Give each child a drinking straw and have him practice blowing
air out of the straw.
6. Show the child how to blow the paint around the paper without
the straw touching the paper to “paint” his picture.
It’s fun to decorate the
ping-pong balls with
colored markers.
Ping-Pong Races
Materials needed:
Ping-Pong Balls and masking tape.
Here’s How:
1. Clear an area of floor space.
2. Mark the floor off with 6-foot lengths of masking tape. Have at
least 2 lanes — 4 are even better. Put a piece of masking tape at
both ends of the 6-foot strips to mark a star and a finish line.
3. Place a Ping-Pong ball at the starting line in each lane.
4. Have a child get down on the floor on his hands and knees
behind each ball.
5. When you say “go,” each child will blow the Ping-Pong
ball down his lane without touching the ball, trying to stay
in the lane.
6. The first child to blow his ball over the finish line is the winner.
Remind the children that they now know three different things that
they can do with their breath.
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
Lesson Plan 2 • A is for Asthma Series
For children 4 - 5 years of age
Lesson Two:
Sometimes My Friend
Has Trouble Breathing
To reduce children’s fears about asthma and show them how they
might be able to help someone with asthma.
Invite family members
of children with asthma
in your care to join
the group.
Let the children know that they will be watching a video about
a new Muppet friend, Dani, who has asthma. Tell them that they
will learn that asthma means having trouble breathing. Challenge
them to watch closely and they will learn how to help when
someone has trouble breathing.
Activity Suggestion (15 - 20 minutes)
Show “A is for Asthma” video.
Materials needed:
VCR and video tape
Here’s How:
1. Watch the videotape together. Children will benefit more
from the video if you help them understand it.
2. Pause the tape occasionally to discuss what’s going on.
3. Sing along with the songs.
Review the main message points:
• All of us breathe, but children with asthma sometimes
have trouble breathing.
• When children with asthma have trouble breathing their
friends can help by following the Asthma Action Plan.
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
Please fill out this form to share information with your child’s caregiver.
My Asthma Profile
For ____________________________________________________________
(Write your child’s name here)
I may be having an asthma episode when (describe behaviors, such as ”I am coughing and can’t
catch my breath,” “I complain that my chest hurts,” “I am wheezing”) ________________________
My asthma can get worse when I’m near (list things that can set off the child’s asthma,
such as dust or cold air) ____________________________________________________________
You can help me feel better by (list helpful interventions here such as “sitting me down,” “rubbing
my back,” “helping me stay calm”) ____________________________________________________
If my episode gets worse, please do the following:
1 ______________________________________________________________________________
2 ______________________________________________________________________________
3 ______________________________________________________________________________
If you need to call my family or my doctor, here are the names and phone numbers:
Family member __________________________________________________________________
Doctor ________________________________________________________________________
The nearest emergency room address and phone number:________________________________
Name of Medication
When I Take It
Who Can Give It To Me?
I also take the following home remedies: ______________________________________________
*Important: state regulations differ on the question of whether child care providers are allowed to
administer medication. Be sure to check with your local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency,
the department of health, or the nearest office of the American Lung Association.
Caregiver: Post in the room where the child spends the most time
Lesson Plan 3 • A is for Asthma Series
For children 4 - 5 years of age
Lesson Three
A Visit From Elmo
To reinforce the messages from the videotape “A is for Asthma.”
It is best to try on
the gloves before
you apply the Velcro.
Tell the children that at circle time a special visitor will be coming
to talk to them about the video they saw yesterday.
Activity Suggestion (10 minutes)
Elmo puppet play.
Preparation (10 - 15 minutes)
Follow directions for completing Elmo puppet and trigger glove.
Complete this before you begin your time with the children.
Materials needed:
Elmo stuffed toy, black gloves, Velcro dots, bag of triggers (cat, dog, roach,
flower, pom-pom, perfume bottle, and glue stick cigarette), thin black permanent marker, red permanent marker, little poster.
Making a Pretend Cigarette Out of a Glue Stick
a) Draw a thin black line with a permanent marker 1-inch from one
end of the glue stick completely around the glue stick.
b) Color the opposite end of the glue stick red.
Here’s How:
Left glove: 1. Attach Elmo doll to glove using Velcro dots.
Right glove: 2. Attach triggers to glove using Velcro dots.
Refer to pictures at left.
You are now ready to begin the Elmo Puppet Play.
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
Assemble class for circle time and sit in a chair facing them with the puppet gloves
and script in your lap until the class is ready. Put the Elmo puppet on your left
hand and begin. Read the script from your lap.
Puppet Play Script (10 minutes)
ELMO: ”Hi boys and girls! I’m Elmo. I hope you enjoyed watching the
video about my friend Dani.
“You know, all of us breathe, even when we’re not thinking
about it. Let’s all take a deep breath. [Elmo and children all take a deep
breath.] Good!
“Sometimes children with asthma have trouble breathing, like
my friend Dani. He needed some help when he had trouble
breathing, didn’t he? Do you remember when he had trouble
breathing? How did you feel when he had trouble? I used to feel
scared but now I know what I can do to help. Let’s see if you
remember what to do.
[Use the poster to remind the children] “Look at this poster; it tells us
everything we need to do. 1. Sit down. 2. Stay calm. 3. Get
help. Now repeat after me… [repeat steps from poster]
“Very good! Let’s practice helping a friend if he has trouble
breathing. I’m going to choose a helper. [Select a child.] Lucy (insert
child’s name), please come up here. Lucy, I’m going to pretend that
I’m having trouble breathing because of my asthma. Would you
please show us what you would do? [Elmo wheezes, puts hand up to
throat. Lucy helps.] Thank you, Lucy. Very good. Lucy remembered
to tell me to sit down, stay calm, and then went to get an adult to
help. I’ll choose another helper now and we’ll do it again. [Continue
choosing helpers and repeating role-play as long as you wish.]
“That’s great, children! I feel very good knowing that you all
could help me if I have trouble breathing. Thank you.
“Let’s see if we can remember another thing that we learned
about asthma from the video.
“There were two things that made Dani have trouble breathing.
Can you remember what they were? [Put on glove with triggers.] Do
you see anything here that made Dani have trouble breathing?
That’s right. Furry animals (cat and dog) and dust (pom-pom). Very
“Children with asthma who have trouble breathing may have
other things that they need to stay away from. Like flowers, cockroaches, or perfumes. [Point to each one on glove.] They don’t bother
me. [Hold each one up to Elmo.] Only children with asthma need to
stay away from these things, NOT all children. Everyone needs to
stay away from this [point to cigarette].
“Well, I’ve had fun being with your class today. Thank you for
watching the video and talking with me. I’ll tell my friend Dani
that if he comes to your class, there will be lots of helpers to help
him if he has trouble breathing. Good-bye! And thank you!”
Let another caregiver
help you get the trigger
glove on.
When a child with
asthma is not feeling
well, other children can
help by following the
Asthma Action Plan.
For more information
call 1-800-367-2229
State of North Carolina
James B. Hunt, Jr., Governor
Division of Women’s and Children’s Health
Children and Youth Section
With support from the
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
and the
Healthy Child Care North Carolina Campaign
1000 copies of this public document were printed at a cost of $3.305 per copy. (1/99)