Asthma is a lung disease. It can make your airways inflamed, swollen and sensitive. When something irritates your airways they become narrowed and inflamed. Asthma causes recurring periods of coughing, wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing. The coughing often occurs at night or early in the morning.
Asthma affects people of all ages, but it most often starts during childhood. In the United States, more than 25 million people are known to have asthma. About 7 million of these people are children.
EHHD participates in the Regional Asthma Coalition (RAC). The RAC is committed to working on behalf of childcare providers, parents, and children with asthma in the region to help ensure that their voices and needs are adequately represented to the State Department of Public Health. Asthma is fairly prevalent in our community, and chances are good that asthma affects someone you know. The Connecticut Department of Public Health reports that:
- In 2010, 9.2% of adults and 11.3% of children had asthma
- The highest rates of asthma were seen among those in the lowest income group (less than $25,000)
- 22.3% of children with asthma lived in a household with at least one adult who smoked (for recourses on smoking cessation click here)
- Each year in Connecticut, there are approximately 6,000 emergency department visits for asthma among children ages 0-14 years
- Each year in Connecticut, approximately 50 people die from asthma
Click here for more stats on asthma in Connecticut.
What Can I Do About My Child's Asthma?
As a resident of the Eastern Highlands Health District you're eligible for the "Putting On AIRS" Program. AIRS stands for "Asthma Indoor Risk Strategies." It is a free program that helps you find what may be making your child's asthma worse. With your permission, trained staff from participating health departments checks your home for things that may star asthma attacks. You'll also receive free educational materials like mattress covers, pillowcases and spacers! Click here to learn more about Putting On Airs and to schedule an appointment!
What You Need to Know About Asthma
The Connecticut Department of Public Health provides the following resources to help you manage you or your family member's asthma:
What is Asthma?-Learn about the basics of asthma such as signs/symptoms, common triggers, and much more
Asthma Action Plans-Learn the importance of having an asthma action plan as well as find a printable Asthma Action Plan (AAP)
Educational Materials-Find materials and resources to educate those with asthma, parents, or caregivers
Kids' Corner-Find links to kid friendly websites where children can learn all about asthma through fact sheets, games, videos, and activities
Healthcare Resources-Learn how you can get insurance and which companies offer patient assistance programs to get medication
Regional Activities-Learn about state-funded activities: Putting on AIRS, Easy Breathing, & CCEJ
Healthy Homes-Learn about the Healthy Homes Initiative, Putting on AIRS, and other resources to learn how you can maintain a clean and healthy home
Environment-Learn how environmental factors affect your health as well as organizations that work to protect the environment
Day Care-Learn how to manage asthma in child care facilities, preschool educational program, and other resources
programs and initiatives for schools, resources to managing asthma in
school-aged children, asthma reporting forms, and links to additional
Coaches' Corner-Find out about tips
on how to manage exercise-induced asthma as well as other resources for
Partnership-Learn about the
partnership and find links to resources about policies and advocacy
organizations as well as read the statewide asthma plan
Surveillance-Read the burden report,
school-based asthma reports, data briefs, fact sheets, and find links to EPA map
tracker and more
published journal articles
Educator Certification Board-Find an asthma
educator or learn how you can become a certified asthma educator
Asthma Educator Institute-Those who qualify to take the National Asthma
Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination, learn more about the American
Lung Association's (ALA) 2-day prep course for the exam