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Attack on Asthma

2010 April 27

In elementary school I played on a traveling soccer team. Before every game we would pack our bags. We were careful not to forget our uniform, shin guards, socks, and cleats. However, there was another item that was crucial to some of the members of the team: their inhalers. My best friend played on the same team that I did and before we would leave for our games her parents would always remind her to grab her inhaler. I remember having to get her inhaler for her during some of her asthma attacks, and it wasn’t always on the soccer field. Sometimes it was at school or in our homes.

Asthma has proven to be one of the most common serious chronic diseases of childhood. Schools and homes can harbor triggers that can lead to trouble breathing and asthma attacks.

Exposures that can trigger asthma attacks include:
·    Secondhand smoke
·    Dust mites
·    Mold
·    Cockroaches
·    Pet dander
·    Ozone and particle pollution

While most of these are exposures that you can look for indoors, there is also a way to become more aware of the quality of the outdoor air in your area. The Air Quality Index (AQI) , shown during your local weather report, can be a useful tool to provide information on the potential health risks of the air in your area.

Some children with asthma can have difficulty playing outside when there are high levels of pollutants in the air. Even small amounts of outdoor physical activity, such as walking, can trigger an asthma attack when the air quality is poor.

Some measures that can be made to help manage asthma include:

  • Eliminate smoking around children or the areas in which they live, learn, and play.
  • Use integrated pest management (IPM) to help prevent pest problems.
  • Fix leaks and moisture problems indoors.
  • Dust and vacuum regularly in areas that kids will be.
  • Locate animals away from sensitive children and ventilation systems.

About the author: Nicole Reising is an intern at the Office of Children’s Health Protection. She is a sophomore studying non-profit management at Indiana University.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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6 Responses leave one →
  1. Good information permalink
    April 27, 2010

    I am an adult, I thought I had outgrown my asthma, but moving to Central Florida has trigger my asthma again. I had a bad winter. Had to go to the doctor at least three times in three months.

  2. armansyahardanis permalink
    April 27, 2010

    Hi Nicole,
    Nice to see you again…….!!!!!
    My family have not asthma. I will be wait for your post again with different topic next week. OK ??

  3. Michael E. Bailey permalink
    April 27, 2010

    I am glad for the California Air resources Board and the work they have done and are doing now. I can remember going to school in the 1960s and 1970s and how hard it was with breathing having to walk to school in seriously polluted air. The air then was a lot worse than now and sometimes smog would be so thick it would completely blot out the sun. Many newspaper editorialists, radio talkshow hosts, and Fox News Commentators like to talk about the horrible California Air Resources Board and how bad the EPA and the Clean Air Act are to the economy; but I think the California EPA and the USEPA have done a great job and have still more work to do. I think subprime rate home loans and ajustible rate mortgages brought about the recession, not the Clean Air Act. Best wishes, Michael E. Bailey.

  4. Moustafa permalink
    April 28, 2010

    In my work, despite smoking is prohibited, the majority are smoking. From the Admin Officer to the messenger are heavily smoking, that I smell this smoke throughout the whole day in the corridor. There are about five signals in each floor announce that “NO SMOKING”

  5. Diane permalink
    April 28, 2010

    My asthma was trigged by a jet fuel spill. I never had asthma as a child. Poor work enviorment and companies that did not follow EPA or OSHA standards has now changed my life forever.

  6. Linda permalink
    April 30, 2010

    As others have pointed out, asthma does not just affect children. I started developing symptoms a few years ago, after repeated bouths of bronchitis and pneumonia. This year’s astonishingly high pollen counts sent it into overdrive, forcing me to rely on 5 different medications when it was at its worst.

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