World Asthma Day Calls for Control of children's Asthma Epidemic

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Leading U.S. Pediatrician, Dr. Olson Huff, said that up to 80% of children with asthma develop symptoms before age five and physicians must rely on parent's observations to make an accurate diagnosis.

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Children with asthma can lead a normal life, if managed properly, and avoid missing out on activities such as school and exercise and minimise sick days and hospital visits.

World Asthma day, the 5th of May, will highlight an important issue impacting many Americans and their children. Asthma is the most common serious chronic disease of childhood, affecting nearly five million children in the United States.

Allergic Care Relief Centres said approximately 20 million Americans suffer from asthma, which is three times as many as 25 years ago, with one in eight children suffer from the disease.

Asthma in children is the cause of almost three million physician visits and 200,000 hospitalizations each year and remains a serious public health concern.

Global Initiative for Asthma, who organize World Asthma day, said that this year's theme of You Can Control Your Asthma is focused on strategies to recognize and gain control over asthma.

Leading U.S. Pediatrician, Dr. Olson Huff, said that up to 80% of children with asthma develop symptoms before age five and physicians must rely on parent's observations to make an accurate diagnosis. Learn more on early diagnosis from Sixty Second Parent.

"The problem is many parents don't realise their children have asthma," Dr. Huff said. "Being aware of the symptoms of asthma and diagnosing it is it the first step, whilst seeking knowledge from the latest information will help keep your child's asthma under control and allow you both to lead a normal and happy life."

Senior Medical Consultant of Community Care of North Carolina, Dr Laura Gerald, said that there are several steps parents can take to help control their child's asthma. The first step is to recognise and understand asthma. Read more from Dr Laura Gerald on Asthma and Children.

Doctor Gerald said asthma is a disease characterized by inflammation in the lungs that difficulty breathing that usually results from some sort of triggers that may include viral infections such as colds, house dust mites, smoke, pollen or other allergens in the air, animals, exercise, air pollution, and changes in weather.

"Symptoms may include coughing, shortness of breath, chest tightening and working very hard to breathe, or wheezing," Dr. Gerald said. "Asthma may run in families and occur with other diseases or conditions such as allergies or skin problems like eczema or atopic dermatitis."

Dr Huff said it is important to try to identify what your child's triggers are so that those things can be avoided or minimized and that medications are generally safe and effective in preventing and treating asthma attacks.

"Children with asthma can lead a normal life, if managed properly, and avoid missing out on activities such as school and exercise and minimise sick days and hospital visits."

Asthma is a serious but treatable condition.

For information and support visit Sixty Second Parent, which offers tips to help parents gain the knowledge necessary to recognize, prevent, and/or appropriately manage asthma symptoms, share experiences with other parents and seek advice from childhood development experts.

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