“Winning with Asthma” Coach’s Clipboard Program Available Online
If a coach presides over a team of 15 athletes, odds are he or she works with at least one asthma sufferer. And there's a good chance that the coach doesn't know how to make participation as comfortable as possible for the athlete, or how to respond to an asthma attack.
The "Winning with Asthma" Coach's Clipboard Program is a free online educational tool that not only explains asthma's causes and symptoms, but lays out strategies for dealing with the disease, which affects an estimated 6.8 million children ages 17 and younger. To date, more than 8,000 coaches have graduated from the program.
Launched by the National Lieutenant Governors Association, the "Winning with Asthma" program this year expanded from Utah and Minnesota into seven additional states (Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee), which award actual clipboards to those who graduate. Coaches everywhere can log onto www.winningwithasthma.org and view a 30-minute interactive tutorial that asks eight questions about asthma at the beginning, then retests viewers at the end. In between, topics of discussion range from asthma's triggers and symptoms to common medications and treatment tools.
Because aerobic activity leaves asthma sufferers particularly susceptible, coaches are encouraged to engage with parents before a season starts and request an asthma action plan for each child, as symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, flushed skin or altered speech may vary by individual. Some athletes may use a rescue inhaler, a long-term controller, or both, and coaches need to know if and when each type of medicine delivery is appropriate for use on the field. Tips on how to calm an athlete during an attack and when to dial 911 if the athlete's condition isn't improving under the coach's care also are provided.
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