For Immediate Release
Contact: Tom Capezzuto
At UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School
Understanding and Controlling Childhood Asthma the Thrust of
National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
5/9/05—Preparation and awareness are key for ensuring that children with chronic asthma lead
safe, healthy lives, says an asthma expert at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New
May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and Dr. Leonard Bielory, director
of the Asthma and Allergy Research Center at the UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School in
Newark, urges parents of asthmatic children to create a checklist to properly monitor and
maintain their children’s health.
"For many families, the learning process is the hardest part of controlling asthma," Dr.
Bielory said. "Once parents start to ask questions and get a better understanding of their
children’s conditions, they discover their children can live healthy and happy lives with asthma."
Dr. Bielory says that results of a study published last August in the Journal of Allergy and
Clinical Immunology found that parents often took the wrong actions to control their
children’s asthma. More than 50 percent of the parents, for example, tried an environmental
control measure unlikely to improve their children’s symptoms.
Parents of asthmatic children should:
- Ask their children’s allergists/immunologists about steps they may take to create a better
living environment. It is vital to know if your child has an allergy, which often triggers
an asthma attack, and how to prevent the allergen from being present in the home.
- Work with the physician to create a daily management plan, which details the regular
medications and measures to keep children’s asthma under control.
- Ask the doctor for a peak flow meter-an instrument that measures air-flow of asthmatic
children when they blow forcefully into it. The results can guide parental and physician-
related decisions about when medications need to be increased or decreased or when they
should seek emergency care.
- Ask for a demonstration on how to properly use an inhaler.
- Ask about creating an "asthma action" plan, which will prepare parents for taking action
when children’s asthma worsens, including which medications to take and when to
contact a physician.
To arrange an interview with Dr. Bielory, call Tom Capezzuto of the UMDNJ News
Service at (973) 972-7273.