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Children’s Health Grant to Reduce Childhood Asthma in Baltimore

Release Date: 10/28/2002
Contact Information: Donna Heron, (215) 814-5113 & Carol Febbo, (215) 814-2076

Donna Heron, (215) 814-5113 & Carol Febbo, (215) 814-2076

BALTIMORE - EPA encourages Americans to know how to protect children’s health. Today, as a part of Children’s Health Month, EPA awarded the Baltimore City Health Department $50,000 to expand its asthma surveillance system.

“We are working with the Baltimore Health Department to bring relief to Baltimore children with asthma,” said Donald S. Welsh, mid-Atlantic regional administrator.

This program will have a direct impact on children’s health. Currently, Baltimore’s asthma surveillance system – a tool to understand what’s going on and where outreach and education efforts are needed most – is based on hospital discharge data for mostly acute asthma cases.

With the new funds the health department will hire specialists who will be able to improve the system to provide care givers and health officials a better understanding of the correlation between environmental conditions and the asthma occurrences in the city. This grant will help the city to target outreach, education, and mitigation programs to reduce asthma triggers. Ultimately, the real progress of this program will be measured by fewer emergency room and inpatient hospital visits for children, and fewer days of school missed.

Baltimore City’s Deputy Health Department Commissioner Hakim Farrkhan was at Dunbar Day Care Center today to receive the check along with other representatives from the health department, and students and instructors from Dunbar Day Care Center. The health department’s division of maternal and child health works closely with the center.

Asthma is the number one chronic disease for children. Although there is no cure for asthma, the illness is manageable. EPA urges caregivers to know what triggers asthma, to be aware of the symptoms, to help children breathe easier and reduce hospital visits, especially now in the fall when asthma attacks are at peak levels.

As individuals, we can take steps to minimize the triggers that cause asthma. Common asthma triggers include tobacco smoke, household pet hair, cockroach particles, and house dust mites. The more care givers know about what triggers an asthma attack , the more that can be done to reduce it from occurring

For general information about children’s health month, a new website was created: http://www.childrenshealth.gov. This website consolidates information from numerous federal agencies on topics like childhood illnesses including asthma, environmental risks, and nutrition.


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