SOURCE: American Lung Association

September 07, 2005 00:01 ET

As Fall Approaches, American Lung Association Calls on Parents, Teachers, and Guardians to Be More Vigilant About Managing Kids' Asthma

Lung Association Provides Resources to Counter Peak Asthma Rates in Back-to-School Months of September and October

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- September 7, 2005 -- With the 2005 school year beginning and the autumn months drawing near, the American Lung Association is asking parents, teachers and guardians to protect the health of the more than six million children with asthma in this country. According to the Lung Association, the back-to-school months of September and October are when asthma attack rates and related hospitalizations are at their highest for children.

"Children with asthma and their caregivers must take extra precaution to prevent asthma episodes during the autumn months," explained Dr. Edelman, chief medical officer for the American Lung Association "This is primarily due to increased incidences of colds and flu, which are easily passed from child to child during the school day and can trigger asthma episodes," he said.

This fall, The Lung Association is urging parents, teachers and school nurses to work together to form a plan of action to help students control their asthma during the school day. The American Lung Association website, www.lungusa.org, provides information and resources for parents and teachers to take preventative action, including the comprehensive "Asthma Action Plan" -- a communication tool for parents and teachers and a printable brochure called, "A Guide for Parents of Children with Asthma" which includes a back-to-school checklist for parents.

"Parents and teachers play a critical role in caring for children with asthma," said John Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Our goal is to provide resources to ensure that everybody in a child's life has the information they need to manage their asthma on a daily basis."

On www.lungusa.org visitors can learn simple and effective ways to manage asthma at home and school:

--  Air quality in the schools can be a powerful asthma trigger for
    children. If you are concerned about the air quality in your child's
    school, contact your local Lung Association.
--  Teachers, nurses, and coaches should have a copy of a student's Asthma
    Action Plan so that they know what to do if a student has an asthma
    episode.
--  As part of the plan, parents should try to minimize dust and other
    airborne particles around the home that may trigger their child's asthma.
    
More than six million children under 18 -- roughly three times the population of Houston, TX -- suffer from asthma. As part of its commitment to research, the American Lung Association created and funds 20 Asthma Clinical Research Centers throughout the country, which conduct large clinical trials that provide important and immediately practical information about asthma. The Lung Association also offers local programs to help children manage their asthma, such as the American Lung Association Open Airways For Schools and the comprehensive community program, Asthma Friendly Schools Initiative. In addition, every state holds an Asthma Walk to raise money to fund asthma research, advocacy and educational programs.

According to guidelines issued by the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute, kids who work with their parents and teachers to manage their asthma can and should play sports and otherwise live active and healthy lives.

American Lung Association

Beginning our second century, the American Lung Association is the leading organization working to prevent lung disease and promote lung health. Lung disease death rates continue to increase while other leading causes of death have declined. The American Lung Association funds vital research on the causes of and treatments for lung disease. With the generous support of the public, the American Lung Association is "Improving life, one breath at a time." For more information about the American Lung Association or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNG-USA (1-800-586-4872) or log on to www.lungusa.org.

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