Asthma & Children
By Dr. Yvonne Juarez, Chief of Pediatrics for Kaiser Permanente Fresno
Every day there are children in the Valley who struggle to breathe. Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and tightening of the chest are just some of the problems children with asthma face.
It’s a disease that can drastically impact their quality of life if not managed well. Some children need medicine to play sports, others have difficulty sleeping. A few suffer from bad asthma attacks requiring frequent doctor visits or can even need emergency room treatment or hospitalization.
May is Asthma Awareness month and a good time to remind everyone about the asthma epidemic facing our nation. Nationwide, nearly 25 million people suffer from this disease, including 7 million children. It continues to be a public health concern and currently accounts for more than 15 million physician office visits and nearly 2 million emergency department visits each year.
Asthma is one of the most common serious chronic diseases facing our children. Asthma disproportionately affects more children here in Fresno County compared to the rest of the state. Nearly 20% of Fresno County children have been diagnosed with asthma, according to the most recent data available from the California Health Interview Survey. Statewide, 14% of children have been diagnosed with the disease.
The Valley’s poor air quality is one factor that subjects more of our children to asthma. A family history of this disease also can make your child more susceptible to breathing problems. Allergies can trigger or make this disease worse in kids.
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For more information regarding asthma and proper ways to use inhalers, please visit my website at http://permanente.net/doctor/yvonnejuarez