For immediate release: Aug 31, 2009
Posted by: [ISDH]
Contact: Melissa Dexter
Phone: 317-234-6578

Coach's Clipboard Program Encourages "Winning with Asthma"

COACH'S CLIPBOARD PROGRAM ENCOURAGES "WINNING WITH ASTHMA"

The Indiana State Department of Health Asthma Program and Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition (InJAC) in partnership with INShape Indiana, the Indiana Department of Education, Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA), and the Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance have launched a free and innovative tool to help coaches, physical education teachers, and officials understand asthma.  The "Winning with Asthma" Coach's Asthma Clipboard Program trains coaches to help their players with asthma properly manage their condition while succeeding in sports.

"Asthma is a common chronic condition affecting the airways of the lungs," said Trisha Jenkinson Dane, director of the asthma program at the Indiana State Department of Health.  "On a team of 12 players, at least one athlete is likely to have asthma. There are safe ways for people with asthma to stay physically active."

The free "Winning With Asthma" program consists of a 30-minute online educational program that can be found at http://www.injac.org/.  The program provides a basic overview of how asthma affects the lungs, the most common symptoms to watch for, the triggers that can lead to an asthma attack, and the medications used in treating asthma.  It also describes a condition known as exercise-induced asthma (EIA), which can affect athletes as they begin breathing faster and deeper during sporting events.

The program teaches coaches about steps they can take before a sporting event to reduce the likelihood that an athlete will have an asthma attack and what urgent steps they should take if an attack does occur.  The program also encourages coach and parent conversations about student asthma and asthma management.

"Interscholastic coaches can provide their student athletes and their respective schools a tremendous service by completing the "Winning With Asthma" curriculum," stated IHSAA Assistant Commissioner Bobby Cox.  "I would encourage all member school coaches to give serious consideration to adding this course to their portfolios."

Upon completing the free program, the Indiana participants will receive a special clipboard detailing steps to take during an asthma attack, a certificate of completion, a booklet that expands on information from the training, an asthma card for their first aid box, and a brochure about how outdoor air quality can affect someone with asthma.

The Coach's Asthma Clipboard program was originally developed through a collaboration involving the Minnesota Department of Health Asthma Program, the Utah Department of Health Asthma Program, and the Minnesota Steps to a Healthier US Initiative and has been adapted for use in Indiana.

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