Suggested Talking Points for VNR Interviews
How serious is the problem of childhood asthma?
What can parents do to help prevent their children's asthma attacks?
- Asthma has reached epidemic proportions in the United States
- The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 17 million people in the US have asthma
- Asthma is the leading cause of childhood hospitalizations. Each year, 2 million people are rushed to the emergency room, and 5000 people die from asthma.
- if you have a child with asthma, you're not alone. Childhood asthma in the US has dramatically increased in the last 15 years.
- 1 in 13 children suffer from asthma -- that's about 5 million children
- The most rapid rise in asthma has occurred in children under 5 -- an increase of over 160%
- Asthma is a leading cause of school absenteeism in this country with over 10 million missed school days per year.
- Last year, the National Academy of Sciences issued a major report on asthma which concluded that exposure to indoor pollutants is an important contributor to the asthma problem in this nation.
How can parents learn more about how to protect their children?
- The good news is that asthma attacks can be prevented. Although we don't yet have a cure for asthma, there are steps parents can take in their homes to prevent asthma attack
- No family should have to live in fear of the next asthma attack.
- If your child -- or for that matter, any person -- has asthma, you should see a doctor to develop an individual asthma management plan that includes both medical and environmental management.
- People are likely to be aware that a doctor will prescribe proper medications. But, it is also critical to identify the environmental triggers that can lead to asthma attacks.
- Parents need to reduce their children's exposure to indoor environmental triggers, especially secondhand smoke, dust mites, molds, pets, cockroaches, and other pests.
- Exposure to ambient air pollution (ozone and particulate matter) is also associated with triggering asthma attacks.
A station will most likely ask about the local Asthma problem [e.g., Houston].
- Many people don't realize there are straightforward steps they can take in their homes to reduce the dangers of asthma attacks.
- For additional information on how to prevent asthma attacks, we urge parents -- or anyone who might be dealing with asthma -- to call our toll free hotline at 1-866-NOATTACKS for free information or visit our asthma education web site.
- Please be prepared with local statistics, facts and asthma events for your city and surrounding area.