According to the Centers for Disease Control, 7.1 million children in the U.S. suffer from asthma. On average, that’s one out of every 10 school children. While the severity of asthma can vary from child to child, left untreated, it can limit how active children are able to be and have a serious effect on lung function and overall health.
What else should parents know about childhood asthma?
- Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses affecting children – Approximately 10.5 million school days are missed each year because of asthma.
- Asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalizations for children under the age of 15.
- Asthma is more prevalent among those children whose families are living below the poverty level.
- Secondhand smoke has caused symptoms to worsen in an estimated 400,000 to 1 million children.
- Other asthma triggers can include: respiratory infections and colds, allergens like pollen, mold and dust, indoor and outdoor air pollutants, exposure to very cold air, excitement or stress and exercise.
If your child suffers from asthma, it’s important that you work with your doctor to create an asthma management plan that will help you maintain control of your child’s symptoms, limiting missed school days and visits to the ER. Teachers and school nurses should also be made aware of your child’s asthma and asthma management plan so that they can help monitor medications, manage activity and identify signs of an asthma flare up. Get started on your child’s asthma management plan by filling out an asthma profile and discussing it with your child’s doctor.
Breathe Pennsylvania offers a number of programs and resources, including Parents of Children with Asthma and Camp Huff-n-Puff that are designed to help parents and children understand asthma and how to manage symptoms. In addition, our School Asthma Initiative is a comprehensive program designed to build a school-wide support system for children with asthma.
You can learn more about our asthma programs and how to get involved or get in touch with our respiratory therapist with your questions by visiting BreathePA.org.