NHM Health Focus:
Asthma and Allergy Awareness
May is Asthma and Allergy
Awareness Month. Related May observances include World
Asthma Day on Tuesday, May 5, and Food
Allergy Awareness Week, May 10-16, 2009.
Every day in America:
- 40,000 people miss school or work due to asthma.
- 30,000 people have an asthma attack.
- 5,000 people visit the emergency room due to asthma.
- 1,000 people are admitted to the hospital due to asthma.
- 11 people die from asthma.
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Each year in America there are:
- 17 million outpatient office visits due to allergies.
- 4 million missed or lost workdays because of allergies.
- 30,000 visits to emergency rooms each year due to food allergies.
- 200 deaths due to food allergies.
- 100 deaths due to insect allergies.
Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America
Many resources are available to help reduce these numbers. The U.S.
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as part of its Healthy
Schools, Healthy Youth! program, has developed tools
for schools to monitor and improve school health, including asthma management.
Two of these tools are:
Index, "a self-assessment and planning tool schools can use to
evaluate and improve their health and safety policies and programs."
Asthma, a Guide for Schools (NHLBI)
"This guide is intended to assist schools that are planning
and/or maintaining an asthma management program. This guide provides
followup steps for schools that currently identify students with asthma
through health forms or emergency cards or plan to do so. It is designed
to offer practical information to school staff members of every position."
For individuals suffering from, or wanting to know more about, asthma
or allergies, "Allergens and Irritants", provides information on various allergens and
strategies to help people avoid exposure to these substances. (NIEHS)
In May 2000, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
announced a comprehensive Action Against Asthma: A Strategic Plan.
The resulting 2007 benchmark publication by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHBLI), Guidelines
for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma,
translates advances in scientific understanding into practical strategies
for the diagnosis and management of asthma.
Resources for teaching and learning about asthma and allergies in the
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum collection of resources
for health and bioscience teachers include:
Let's Collaborate: SciTalk - Food
Allergies and Sensitivities
Let's Collaborate: Science Seminar - Allergies
Activities Exchange: Mystery Spot - Sneeze
Activities Exchange: Mystery Spot - River
Activities Exchange: Fellows Collection - Hippocratic
Activities Exchange: Fellows Collection - Immunology
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Severe Allergies
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Asthma
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Chronic
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - What
About Your Community?
Health Headquarters: Question of the Week - Health
Health Headquarters: NHM Health Focus - Healthy