About Kickin' Asthma
The American Lung Association, federal agencies and other asthma experts all recognize that asthma self-management education is an important part of improving asthma morbidity and mortality among children with asthma. In addition, the Community Preventive Services Task Force (CPSTF) recommends school-based asthma self-management interventions to reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits among children and adolescents with asthma.
Kickin' Asthma is an asthma self-management education program for kids ages 11-16 (grades 6-10) that empowers them through a fun and interactive approach to asthma self-management. Kickin' Asthma includes different learning techniques suitable for teen-aged kids and highlights self-management practices, such as recognizing triggers and proper medication use.
How Kickin’ Asthma Works
Kickin' Asthma teaches children how to detect the warning signs of asthma, avoid their triggers, and make decisions about their health. The program is taught by an American Lung Association-trained facilitator. After attending a three-part blended learning training that takes between 3-4 hours, each facilitator is provided with a facilitator guide to deliver the structured curriculum in a school or community-based small group setting.
Kickin’ Asthma Facilitators lead a small group of teens (5-10 people per program) through four, 45-minute sessions (see Figure 1) taught on consecutive days or one week apart. Each session has sections that are optional, to allow the instructor the flexibility to make time adjustments along the way.
Proven Results for Kickin’ Asthma
In 2001, the American Lung Association in California and a coalition of stakeholders in Oakland, California developed Kickin’ Asthma with funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) through its Controlling Asthma in American Cities Project. The coalition developed the program in response to a demand for a practical, school-based curriculum that addresses the unique needs of children ages 11-16 (grades 6-10). Children of this age group, and particularly those in minority communities who are most likely to end up in the emergency room, face unique social and economic challenges. Children that participated in the pilot study of Kickin’ Asthma experienced significantly fewer symptoms, days with activity limitation, nights of sleep disturbances, and emergency department visits.
In 2015, the American Lung Association national office added Kickin’ Asthma to the asthma education program suite for nationwide implementation, and formed a nationwide staff working group to standardize the delivery of the program. Kickin’ Asthma is the only proven-effective teen-based program teaching asthma self-management skills. In 2019, the Lung Association updated the program branding, refreshed the content, and developed a standardized online training to prepare volunteers to facilitate the program to teens.
How to Start Your Own Kickin’ Asthma Program
The American Lung Association offers a robust training experience and all the materials that adults or organizations need to facilitate Kickin’ Asthma. The registration fee is $400 and includes:
Kickin’ Asthma Facilitator Training
- Asthma Basics (online module)
- Kickin’ Asthma Facilitator Training (online module)
- Kickin’ Asthma Technical Assistance Meeting with staff (in-person or phone call)
Kickin’ Asthma Resource Materials and Support:
- Three-year certification with an option to recertify
- Facilitator Demonstration Device Toolkit
- Kickin’ Asthma Curriculum (Facilitator Guide and Participant Workbook)
- Access to the Kickin’ Asthma Facilitator Resource Center (online)
- Facilitator engagement and networking opportunities
Reviewed and approved by the American Lung Association Scientific and Medical Editorial Review Panel.