This sharepost is aimed at all your parents of kids with asthma, and I know there are a lot of you out there. Asthma is one of the most common childhood health conditions nowadays. And, while many parents and other people who come into contact with asthma kids are quite familiar with asthma and how to manage it, there are still many who aren’t.
May is Asthma Awareness Month every year, and yes, I know May is nearly over now. But May is just an excuse to work towards asthma awareness, and that work can be done any day of the year. The more we all get the word out about how everyone can help minimize the impact of asthma, the better.
One of the ways parents can help raise asthma awareness is at school. But May is a bit late to be planning school events, at least out west here where I live, so how about moving your focus to your child’s day care center… or summer camp… or even your neighborhood community center or public library?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers a great Event Planning Kit (PDF) that you can download for free. It’ll give you lots of ideas, but here are a few I’ve pulled out:
Read children’s books on asthma to students, such as Taking Asthma to School, Zoo Allergy, and _The ABC’s of Asthma, _ by Kim Gosselin.
Organize an asthma poster contest for kids.
Find local celebrities, elected officials and even kids who have asthma and invite them to come & speak to your group about what it’s like to live with asthma and stay healthy.
Design asthma awareness bulletin boards or other displays for students and staff.
Conduct a walkthrough of your school or facility to determine if asthma triggers exist. If they do, offer suggestions on how to reduce them (or get rid of them altogether).
I’m sure if you get creative, you could think of lots of other fun activities that would help both adults and kids become more aware of asthma, of how common it is, and how each of them can help reduce its impact.
The EPA offers a number of free downloadable reports and publications about asthma in both English and Spanish. Some are aimed at parents, and some at children. You can find them listed on this page:
Come on everyone… let’s get the asthma word out
Kathi is an experienced consumer health education writer, with a prior career in nursing that spanned more than 30 years — much of it in the field of home health care. Over the past 15 years, she’s been an avid contributor for a number of consumer health websites, specializing in asthma, allergy, and COPD. She writes not only as a healthcare professional, but also as a lifelong sufferer of severe allergies and mild asthma, and as a caregiver for her mother with COPD.