Using an Asthma Action Plan :: Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio

Using an Asthma Action Plan

Sit down with your doctor to develop an Asthma Action Plan. A plan can be very helpful, especially during an asthma flare-up.

Your Asthma Action Plan can help you decide:

  • What medicines to take

  • How much to take

  • When to take them

  • When and how to get help

Your Asthma Action Plan should include:

  • Emergency phone numbers

  • Flare-up symptoms

See your doctor every 3 to 6 months for an asthma checkup.

Sharing your plan

You may want to give a copy to friends, relatives, teachers, coaches, neighbors and babysitters so that they can help you if you have a flare-up.

An Asthma Action Plan may use 4 color "zones" to help you decide what to do:

Green Zone
(Doing well)
• Your breathing is good
• Avoid your asthma triggers
• Take your controller medicines every day to help prevent flare-ups
Yellow Zone
(Symptoms Starting)
• First signs of a cold, repeated cough, waking at night from cough
• Take your rescue (quick-relief) medicine to keep symptoms from getting worse
• If symptoms do not go away or return in 4 hours, call your doctor (see Orange
Zone instructions)
• Continue taking your controller medicines

Orange Zone
(In Trouble)

CALL YOUR DOCTOR!
• Symptoms return too quickly (not improving): relief from quick-relief medicine
doesn’t last 4 hours; vomiting after coughing
• Quick-relief medicine is needed 4 or more times in a single day
• Take your Orange Zone medications
If you cannot reach your doctor and symptoms continue, go to an Urgent Care
or Emergency Room
Red Zone
(In Danger)
GO TO THE CLOSEST ER OR DIAL 9-1-1 NOW!
• Symptoms include hard, fast breathing (gasping); rib and neck muscles
show when breathing; lips and fingernail beds turn gray or blue
• On the way to the ER, take your Red Zone medications!
Nationwide Children's Hospital
700 Children's Drive Columbus, Ohio 43205 614.722.2000