Hawaii Health Alerts: Keiki Living With Asthma

Medically reviewed in June 2022

Each year Hawaii’s emergency rooms are visited by approximately 5,000 people affected by asthma. The majority of those patients continue to be infants and children under 4. The mortality rate from this chronic disease has declined over the past decade, however according to the State of Hawaii Department of Health, it remains above the national average.

In addition to our unique vog (volcanic smog) issue, allergists also attribute Hawaii’s elevated asthma rate due to a year-round presence of environmental triggers such as pollen, dust mites, cockroaches and mold. Although asthma cannot be cured, most people can control asthma to experience fewer symptoms.

Not sure if your little one is living with asthma? There are some common telltale signs:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Nighttime/early morning coughing

Being aware of what triggers your child’s asthma is just one of the precautions to ensure his or her health. Experts suggest creating a written plan that you develop with your child’s physician to help control their asthma. The plan should include daily medications (if necessary), a description of long-term treatment, how to handle asthma attacks and an explanation of when to call the physician or visit the emergency room. All of the people who care for your child should know about his or her plan.

According to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air” 2015 report, air quality in Hawaii is improving despite our unique vog issue. The data indicated Honolulu as one of the cleanest cities in the country for levels of ozone and has even shown improvement in short-term particle pollution.

For more information on Asthma prevention and management in Hawaii, visit http://health.hawaii.gov/asthma/.

This content originally appeared on Well-Being Hawaii.

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