Newsday recently reported on findings in the journal Pediatrics about trends in asthma among U.S. children [“Study: Kids’ asthma rates down,” News, Dec. 28].
While the article leaves one encouraged that asthma rates among many groups have plateaued, those who treat children with asthma or have children with asthma know that there’s still plenty of room for improvement. It is important to note that the authors also found that asthma rates continue to increase in children from the ages of 10 to 17, as well as those living in poverty.
Asthma remains one of the most common chronic diseases in children. Poorly managed asthma frequently results in missed school and avoidable trips to the emergency room. On Long Island, where we have a diverse economic population and many families living at or below the federal poverty level, the need to promote asthma management in our schools cannot be overstated.
The Asthma Coalition of Long Island is proud to have worked with the American Lung Association and partners such as St. Joseph’s College, Farmingdale State College and Molloy College to bring the Open Airways for Schools program to Long Island. As a result, children in schools with a high prevalence of asthma cases are being educated and empowered about their disease.
While there is no cure for asthma, most children with asthma can live active, healthy lives. This is an important lesson for all children with asthma to learn
Dr. Mary Cataletto
Editor’s note: The writer is a past chair of the Asthma Coalition of Long Island, an advocacy organization.