Work with the key players—parents and other caregivers—to control your young patients' asthma this cold and flu season

November 6, 2006

Results of a new survey of 503 caregivers who have a child with asthma reveal that few families are prepared to control their child's asthma even as the cold and influenza season gets underway. The survey found that many parents don't understand how to properly control asthma: 38%, for example, think that medication is needed only when a breathing problem occurs, and 44% agree with the statement that an asthma attack can be prevented by having the child take a rescue medication.

Results of a new survey of 503 caregivers who have a child with asthma reveal that few families are prepared to control their child's asthma even as the cold and influenza season gets underway. The survey found that many parents don't understand how to properly control asthma: 38%, for example, think that medication is needed only when a breathing problem occurs, and 44% agree with the statement that an asthma attack can be prevented by having the child take a rescue medication.

What can be done to change these misperceptions? For one, in your practice, you should stress to parents that, even if they do not hear or see symptoms of asthma in their child, consistent adherence to a therapeutic regimen can help control inflammation and may prevent attacks.

It's also important for you to inform parents and other caregivers about the signs of uncontrolled asthma now that the cold and flu season has arrived. Other actions for you to take include:

  • Stress the importance of having a child who has asthma receive the flu vaccine each flu season

  • Identify and implement the best treatment plan for the individual patient to ensure that the patient has the greatest possible opportunity to keep asthma under control

  • Encourage hand washing; stress to parents and caregivers that this action is one of the most effective basic preventive measures for avoiding pathogens.

The survey of parents and caregivers was conducted by ICR, a market and opinion research firm, on behalf of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of American, and was funded by AstraZeneca.