Experts discuss childhood asthma: Asthma affects an overwhelming amount of children in North Texas. The good news is that asthma can be controlled.
Asthma is a chronic disorder caused by genetic and environmental factors. It's characterized by episodes of reversible breathing problems. While asthma affects people of every race, sex and age, disparities exist in low-income and minority populations, such as children, African Americans and people living below the poverty level.
Children living in households with income below $50,000 have higher rates of asthma and are 12 times more likely to visit an emergency room for asthma symptoms when compared with children in higher-income families.1 Asthma is also the most frequent primary diagnosis for inpatient and emergency room visits to Cook Children's regardless of the season.2
At Cook Children’s Medical Center-Fort Worth during 2017–2020, a total of 11,167 children visited the emergency department, and 4,500 were hospitalized due to asthma symptoms.7 Approximately 40% of these children were under the age of 5.3
Of school-age children with asthma in the eight-county service area, 1 in 4 missed school due to asthma symptoms.4
Education and resources
Asthma is a lung disease. There is no cure, but you can control it. Asthma symptoms are different for each person. It's important to treat even mild symptoms so they don't get worse.
Main symptoms of asthma:
- Shortness of breath
- Tight feeling in chest
- Coughing often
Triggers are the things that cause asthma symptoms. You may have one or many triggers. Common asthma triggers include:
- Dust mites
- Weather change
- Exercise or active playing
- Strong odors and fumes
Reduce the presence of asthma triggers
You can reduce the presence of asthma triggers for your child. Watch these videos to find out what you can do.
Undiagnosed asthma: Is it a cough or is it asthma? Watch this video to see if you should talk to your child's doctor.
KidBits Asthma Green Cleaning: How-to tips on using green products to clean your house.
KidBits Asthma Mattress Covers: How-to tips on proper mattress covers to use.
KidBits Asthma Stuffed Animals: How-to tips on stuffed animals and kids with asthma.
KidBits Asthma Pets: How-to tips on pets in your home.
KidBits Asthma Air Filters: How-to tips on managing your child's asthma with air filters.
KidBits Asthma Dusting: How-to tips on how to properly remove dust from your house.
KidBits Asthma Dust Mites: How-to tips on dust mites and managing your child's asthma.
KidBits Asthma Rescue v Control: How-to tips on differences in medications.
KidBits Asthma Severity: How-to tips on two types of asthma.
KidBits Asthma Myths How-to tips on myths about asthma.
Medicines used to treat asthma
There are two kinds of medicines used to treat asthma: reliever and controller medicines. Reliever medicines, sometimes referred to as rescue medications, are used as needed to give fast relief for symptoms. Controller medicines are used daily to control and prevent symptoms and provide long-lasting relief.
Talk to your doctor to determine the best asthma action plan for your child.
- Asthma slim card: English
- Asthma slim card: Spanish
- Trigger action plan: English/Spanish
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: English
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: Spanish
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: Arabic
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: Nepali
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: Swahili
- Asthma environmental trigger booklet: Vietnamese
Asthma 411: School Health Staff In-Service- Mild, moderate, severe asthma: A guide to decision making for school health staff in the school environment
1 Hour (Virtual- Recording)
An annual educational event for those participating in Asthma 411. Learning objectives: identify the common symptoms and treatments of asthma in school age children and adolescents, identify the asthma triggers present in school environment, understand how to follow the physician's orders contained in an Asthma Action Plan, as well as provide proper care for a student having an emergency asthma exacerbation.
1 hour (Virtual - Zoom)
An annual educational event for those participating in Asthma 411. Learning objectives: Describe the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on asthma patients in Fort Worth. Identify red flags for students with asthma. Discuss communication between school nurses and primary care providers. Identify the importance of interprofessional collaboration amongst the healthcare team.
1.5 hour (Virtual - Zoom)
An annual educational event for those participating in Asthma 411. Learning objectives: Identify signs and symptoms of respiratory distress in asthma. Discuss asthma 411 standing delegation order algorithm. Understand pulse oximetry and the pathophysiology of hypoxemia in asthma.
1Community Health Needs Assessment Report. (2021), pg.88. Cook Children’s Health Care System. Fort Worth, Texas.
2Cook Children's Medical Center, Trauma Center, Physician Network, Case Management Services, Meditech Data Repository, and Epic Data Repository.
3Cook Children’s Health Care System. Health Care Analytics Department. 2021
4 Community-wide Children’s Health Assessment and Planning Survey (CCHAPS) (2021). Cook Children’s Health Care System. Fort Worth, Texas.