Asthma is a problem where airways get swollen and become tight. This causes symptoms like wheezing, shortness of breath or coughing. For more information on asthma and how it is treated, see this
information sheet and frequently asked questions. (PDF)
A nine-minute video, "Childhood Asthma: A Guide for Families and Caregivers," is available in several languages on the Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA) YouTube channel.
Asthma action plans for children
Asthma action plans are a personalized asthma plan for you or your child. They tell you what medications you should be taking and how often. They also tell you what symptoms to watch out for and when you should get help from your primary care practitioner and when to go to the emergency room. These action plans also have information on how to use the different types of asthma inhaler devices.
Asthma symptom and medication diary
This diary helps you keep track of you or your child's asthma symptoms and medications. It is useful to bring these diaries to your asthma provider to review how things have been going in between appointments.
The most common trigger for asthma attacks is viruses. However some people are allergic to things in the environment that worsen asthma symptoms. This handout provides detailed information on these allergic triggers and how to avoid them.
Second or third hand smoke exposure worsens asthma symptoms, increases the risk for asthma attacks and makes asthma medication less effective. The province of B.C. has a free quit smoking program. Find out more information at
Asthma devices and medication
These handouts and videos provide detailed information on the different types of asthma medication and devices. An overview of how to use the devices are also available on the reverse side of the action plans.
Many inhalers do not have a counter on them for you to know when they are empty. For inhalers that are used daily, you can write the day that you started the medication and calculate the number of days that the inhaler will last. For example, many inhaled steroid puffers have 120 doses in them, therefore if you are prescribed 1 puff twice a day, that inhaler will last for two months. When two months has gone by, you should start a new inhaler. Although it may look like medication is still coming out after this time, it may be propellant and no have any active medication.
For reliever medications that are only used when needed, the only way to know when they are empty is to count the doses that you use. Many of those inhalers (often blue inhalers) have 200 doses in them when they are new. This dose tracking sheet can be used to keep track of how many doses are left.