Originally published May 20, 2013
Each May, thousands of organizations join together during Asthma Awareness Month to increase public awareness of the asthma epidemic and to take action to get asthma under control in communities across the nation.
This year, the Georgia Department of Public Health's (DPH) Georgia Asthma Control Program (GACP) observed World Asthma Day with the theme 'Is It Asthma' to increase awareness among parents and caregivers of the signs and symptoms of asthma and the key questions they should be asking their child's primary care provider. The event was held at Dunbar Elementary in Atlanta and included a talk by Leroy Graham, M.D., founder of Not One More Life, an Atlanta-based asthma education program.
GACP and partners emphasized the need for an asthma action plan, how to monitor symptoms, importance of daily controller medication, avoidance of exposure to allergens and irritants, when to call the physician for advice and when to go to the emergency room.
Asthma affects almost 25 million people of all ages and races across the nation. In Georgia, 568,658 adults and 259,198 children are living with asthma. It is one of the leading reasons children in Georgia visit the emergency room or are admitted to the hospital. More than half of school-age children with asthma miss at least one day of school because of the illness. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in a classroom of 30 children, about three are likely to have asthma on average. Low-income populations, minorities and children living in inner cities experience more emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma than the general population.
The CDC National Asthma Control Program, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 4, Georgia American Lung Association, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta Green and Healthy Homes Initiative and Southside Medical Center provided resources to parents and caregivers at Dunbar Elementary School.
For more information about asthma control, visit http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/asthma/.