Florence Brasser students participate in Open Airways

(March 10, 2011)

Posted March 10, 2011

Chili, N.Y. —  Ten Florence Brasser Elementary students recently went the extra mile to learn about asthma. They attended a program known as Open Airways for Schools sponsored by the American Lung Association and the Regional Community Asthma Network of the Finger Lakes.

Open Airways is a school-based asthma management program for children with asthma. It consists of six small group lessons in which students are provided with basic information about the respiratory system and what happens differently during an asthma episode.

Students are provided opportunities to talk, write and draw about their feelings pertaining to asthma. Other program content includes the discussion and identification of asthma triggers, learning how to recognize asthma warning signs, and practicing asthma management steps through games and role play. Relaxation exercises are also demonstrated and practiced. The appropriate use of asthma controller and quick reliever medicines is reviewed. Students also practice evaluating the severity of asthma symptoms and when to seek professional help.
The importance of getting enough physical activity and doing well in school is emphasized as well.

Here is what some of the students had to say about the experience:

Alexandra — “It’s good to learn about our asthma, because if we didn’t we’d spend a lot more time in the health office. Now that we know what to do we’ll have better futures.”

Brooke — “We learned about many different asthma triggers.”

Kaitlin — “What I liked about Open Airways is I could be a helper because I did it last year.”

Alexander — “It helped me learn more about how to help my breathing when I have warning signs and how to use my medicine.”

Jessica — “Open Airways is my favorite program because I really had fun learning about my asthma.”

A graduation ceremony for family members was held recently to celebrate all of this learning.

The students were able to present all they had learned to those in attendance. They proudly demonstrated The Brasser Way by taking a step toward responsibility for their own health and working hard to learn these key components of asthma care.