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Fresh Air is a Personal, Family and Community Health Issue
Helping Our Kids Breathe Easier -- Policy Solutions in The Fight Against Childhood Asthma by the California Endowment reports some startling facts...
The Golden State's beautiful seascapes and amazing vistas aren't the only things leaving Californians breathless: Asthma rates in California are among the highest in the country. Among California children under 18 years of age, one in 10 suffers from this chronic respiratory disease.
Asthma is responsible for the most disabilities, hospital admissions and school absenteeism among children. Children with asthma who are exposed to certain environmental 'triggers' -- such as air pollution, outdoor allergens (e.g., pollen), tobacco smoke, dust mites, animal dander, mold and upper respiratory infections -- may experience symptoms more frequently.
Fortunately, the disease is largely preventable. With proper medication and attention to environmental conditions, the symptoms of asthma can generally be well controlled. However, many communities face a number of environmental factors -- from substandard housing conditions and rundown schools, to automobile emissions and industrial pollution -- that have been implicated in causing or worsening childhood asthma. These conditions make it difficult for California children with asthma to live, learn and play.
While families can take some steps to control the indoor environment of their homes -- for example, by providing allergy-protection bedding and choosing not to smoke -- families alone cannot initiate the larger changes needed to improve their children's environments to reduce the frequency and severity of asthma attacks. Moreover, landlords, school administrators, recreational center staff and others responsible for the environments in which school-aged children live, learn and play often do not understand the circumstances that trigger or exacerbate asthma attacks or the strategies for eliminating them.
If you have family members, students or coworkers with asthma, reading this report will help you understand how you can improve the situation. If you are concerned about general health environment factors...here are some of the "Outdoor Environment" solutions we can all work for:
That's not a legacy I want to leave for our children. Let's use our resourcefulness to end this problem. Nature should be healing and nurturing...that's my belief and I'm stickin' to it!