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  Asthma and allergies
Updated 18 February 2004, 12.41
Inhaler

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Health influences

Overview
A new study says kids in the UK are three times as likely to get asthma as those in France, Germany or Italy.

Students learn the symptoms of asthma, diabetes and common allergies.

Learning aims

  • Discuss ways of managing asthma, diabetes and allergies.

  • Devise own ways of helping children to cope with these.
Inhaler
Icebreaker
Read the story

Ask the class:

  • What does it mean to have an allergy?

  • What do you know about asthma and diabetes?
Main activity
Give each student one of the symptoms below. If needed, symptoms can be repeated so that everybody has one.

Asthma:

  • shortness of breath
  • coughing
  • anxiety
  • increased heart rate
  • wheezing
  • sweating
  • chest tightness
Diabetes:
  • extreme tiredness
  • frequent toilet trips
  • unusual thirst
  • severe hunger
  • flu-like symptoms
  • unusual weight loss
Allergies:
  • rashes
  • vomiting
  • cramps
  • swelling
  • itching
  • tightness in throat
  • diarrhoea
  • anaphylaxis
  • difficulty breathing
Tell the students to consider the symptoms they have been given and arrange them into three groups: asthma, diabetes or allergies.

Work through and discuss the symptoms for each by having students read out their suggestions.

Real-life situation
Read out the following scenario and discuss the questions:

You and a classmate are playing a game in the playground. It is just before lunch and your friend is getting irritable. Then, she starts shaking and wants to be on her own. You know she has diabetes.

  • What is the likely cause?
    Too much or too little insulin, too much exercise, eating too much or too little or the wrong kind of food.
  • What should you do?
    Get her to a teacher and say that she has diabetes.
  • Once she is okay, what should she do to stop it happening again?
Extension activity
Prepare a talk to Year 6 students about asthma, diabetes and allergies. What are the most important things to mention?

Examples of approaches: Make it funny, use drama, cartoons and music.

Plenary
Students present their ideas and the class offer constructive feedback.

Is there evidence to suggest that asthma, diabetes or allergies are becoming more common?

Teachers' Background

  • Ancient Greek and Chinese doctors knew about asthma.
  • 100 million people in the world have it.
  • Attack happens when tubes carrying oxygen to lungs get narrow and inflamed.
  • This causes difficulty in breathing.
  • Dust can trigger the airways to tighten too.
Turn this into an assembly

Students could try out their ideas with the assembly audience.


For all links and resources click at top right.


More InfoBORDER=0
UKMillions mistaken over food allergies
UKUK kids have world's worst asthma
Find OutGuide to diabetes
Find OutWhat is asthma?

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Past StoriesBORDER=0
UK kids have world's worst asthma

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