Connecticut town sees surge in number of students suffering from asthma
In Wallingford, Connecticut, the incidents of asthma-related trips to the nurses office are causing alarm among parents and teachers. Year after year, the number of children in the town suffering from airway constriction has increased, and it's not entirely clear why.
To combat the unfortunate trend, school nurses have started making house calls to investigate what factors could be contributing to the up-tick in asthmatics attending the town's public schools.
“Ultimately the goal is to reduce asthma events for children so they don’t miss days of school, or end up in the emergency room,” Eloise Hazelwood, the director of the town's health department, told the Record Journal.
During the 2010-2011 school year, nurses from Wallingford Public Schools reported 842 visits from students regarding asthma, not simply sneezing or runny noses. During the 2005-2006 school year, nearly 70 fewer visits were reported according to the news source
The incidents are most prevalent among grade school children. Roughly a quarter of all incidents reported were from students between the third and fifth grade alone.
The home visits from nurses are aimed at identifying the not-so-obvious asthma triggers that parents may be overlooking. The health department believes communicating face-to-face with a health professional in the home accomplishes much more than simply providing pamphlets.
Most parents of asthmatic children know not to smoke cigarettes, but they may not realize sometimes even a lit candle can put an asthma attack in motion. Other hidden triggers include dust mite droppings that build up on some of your upholstery, and even built-up dust that occurs from poor ventilation.
The Wallingford Health Department is recommending parents purchase hypoallergenic pillow casings and mattress covers, like the Pristine Complete collection offered at Allergy Be Gone. Air purifiers like the Honeywell Round Room HEPA air cleaner are also a good option if your child is at risk.
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