In the United States alone, an average of 1 out of every 10 school-aged children has asthma. In 2012, approximately 8 percent of youth in Linn County and 17.1 percent in the state of Iowa were diagnosed with asthma. Asthma is one of the most common and serious chronic diseases of childhood and is the leading cause of childhood hospitalizations and school absenteeism. In Linn County, there is a 9 times greater likelihood that hospitalizations among youths 19 year of age and under will be associated with asthma compared to other causes.
In response to these statistics, and in an effort to raise public awareness of the risks faced everyday by an estimated 25.9 million Americans living with asthma, the Linn County Board of Supervisors proclaimed the month of May, 2014, as Asthma Awareness Month in Linn County. In-line with the recommendations from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Linn County Board of Supervisors with the support of Linn County Public Health is encouraging residents to identify and reduce potential environmental triggers within homes and schools. Triggers may include exposure to irritants and allergens associated with dust mites, mold, cockroaches, pet dander, and secondhand smoke.
In support of raising asthma awareness, the Healthy Homes branch of Linn County Public Health provides a FREE program to Linn County residents who suffer with asthma. This program assists residents in identifying potential asthma triggers within the home and empowers asthmatics to control asthma attacks. The program titled, Community Home Asthma Management Program (CHAMP), includes a Healthy Homes Assessment, education about asthma triggers, and provides strategies to reduce asthma triggers in the home. Contact Linn County Public Health today to enroll in the CHAMP program.
For more information on Linn County Public Health’s CHAMP program, Asthma, or about Asthma Awareness Month, contact the Healthy Homes Branch at (319) 892-6021 or email [email protected]