October was National Children’s Health Month. Asthma is a common chronic condition that affects children’s health. Its incidence has risen significantly over the last few decades, with almost one in twelve children in the United States now diagnosed with asthma. It is crucial for us as caregivers and members of the community to understand the reason behind this increase in asthma among youth.
Children are more prone to developing asthma than adults because their respiratory systems are still developing. Allergens, air pollution, and secondhand smoke are common triggers that cause inflammation in the lungs and airways, leading to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Some children are at higher risk than others. Those living in substandard housing with issues like mold, pests, and poor ventilation are more susceptible to complications. Low-income and minority children also bear a disproportionate burden when it comes to asthma. Black children are two to three times more likely to be hospitalized or die from asthma than white children.
To address these inequities, the Indiana Joint Asthma Coalition (InJAC) has launched several initiatives to promote children’s respiratory health:
- Educational resources for schools and healthcare workers on best practices for asthma management, including an online course and toolkit to help schools become Asthma Friendly.
- Recorded webinars and summits where medical experts discuss the latest research on environmental impacts like air pollution. (Enter the password: U^^cKD02 to gain access to recorded online seminar)
- Workgroups that collaborate on projects to improve asthma prevention and control
- Digital materials covering all aspects of pediatric asthma.
Let’s take action to reduce environmental threats and support young lungs. Get involved with InJAC to make a real difference for Indiana youth with asthma.