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Protecting Kids from Asthma

Between 1980 and 2010, the percentage of youth with asthma in America increased from 3.6% of the population to 9.4%, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). What can parents do to reduce the prevalence of asthma in children, and what are the risk factors and triggers that parents need to watch out for?

There's no doubt that asthma is a serious problem in the U.S. The CDC lists some of asthma's effects:

  • Almost 60 percent of children with asthma had an asthma attack in 2008.
  • Asthma accounts for about 14 million missed days of school annually.
  • Asthma is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among those younger than 15 years of age.
  • In 2007, 152 children under age 15 died from asthma, compared with 93 children who died from it in 1979.
  • The estimated annual cost of treating asthma in U.S. children is is $8 billion per year.
Researchers haven't yet determined any definitive causes of asthma in children, but they have found certain risk factors associated with the disease. While some of these factors — for example, a family history of asthma, low birth weight, and race — are unavoidable, others are more controllable. Also, if your child is diagnosed with asthma, there are specific steps you can take to prevent serious asthma attacks.


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