By Elias Rodriguez
An alarming text came in over a recent weekend, my young niece was being taken to the emergency room by her parents due to a serious episode of asthma. She was treated and released, but was distressingly back in the hospital the next day when the health situation became exacerbated. Asthma can be fatal.
Asthma triggers include pets, pesticides, dust mites, mold and secondhand smoke. Pollutants in the outdoor air, including particulates (soot) and ozone (smog) are major asthma triggers. Ozone can irritate the respiratory system, causing coughing, throat irritation, and aggravating asthma. When ozone levels are high, more people with asthma have attacks that require a doctor’s attention or medication.
When she had fully recovered, I asked my niece for any tips she would like to offer other kids. She noted the changing weather. “Take care of yourself,” she offered while acknowledging that having an Asthma Action Plan was an important message for everyone.
EPA highly recommends that folks create an Asthma Action Plan. You can help avoid the emergency room by managing your asthma daily. With a doctor’s help, you should create an asthma action plan to help you effectively manage your asthma and reduce exposure to triggers.
We hope you heed the tips from Children’s Health Month this October.
About the Author: Elias serves as EPA Region 2’s bilingual public information officer. Prior to joining EPA, the proud Nuyorican worked at Time Inc. conducting research for TIME, LIFE, FORTUNE and PEOPLE magazines. He is a graduate of Hunter College, Baruch College and the Theological Institute of the Assembly of Christian Churches in NYC.