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How parents can help manage their children’s asthma

(NAPS)—Parents can do more for their children with asthma than they may realize. The best thing parents can do is to learn all they can about the disease, according to a new survey by Kelton Research, funded by Sepracor Inc.

“Managing a child’s asthma can be a very taxing responsibility,” said Lisa Harris, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center. “Parents go to great lengths to protect their child from asthma triggers and potential attacks.”

Dr. Harris suggests making sure your child has a rescue medicine on hand at all times and distributing rescue medicines and instructions for what to do in the case of an asthma attack to school officials, coaches and other caregivers for your child.

“As a working mom with a hectic schedule, I know what it’s like to be away from your child and constantly be worrying about whether or not he has everything he needs to prevent or control an attack,” said Mary Joe Fernandez, tennis champion, professional tennis commentator and mother of a son with asthma. “Growing up with asthma, I learned the importance of always having a rescue medicine with me at all times, just in case.”

Other parent-to-parent advice from the survey includes asking your child’s doctor about all available asthma treatments, getting your child tested for allergies and requesting a visit with a specialist. Unfortunately, nearly one in two parents in the same survey admitted they weren’t aware of other prescription asthma medications that were different from what their child was currently taking.

The survey found that the majority of parents take special measures to help ward off asthma attacks, especially around the house, by replacing carpets with wood flooring, changing linens frequently and swapping out bedding for non-allergenic materials.

For parents who have a child with asthma, there is a new resource to help them manage their child’s asthma effectively.

A new Web site for parents of children with asthma features a downloadable Asthma Action Plan to complete with their child’s health care provider; a checklist of questions for doctor visits; an Asthma Diary to record peak flow readings, asthma symptoms and medicines to bring to physician appointments; and a Caregiver Checklist to share with other caregivers when parents are not around. You can find these tools and more information at www.EveryoneBreathe.com.

Mary Joe Fernandez and Dr. Harris are paid spokespersons for EveryoneBreathe.com, which is sponsored by Sepracor.

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