Learning about asthma

Education helps kids and parents breathe easier


 
 

Kit Bernardi

 
We’ve all heard the phrase "It’s as easy as breathing," but breathing doesn’t come easily to kids with asthma. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 6.5 million American children under age 18 have asthma. Not only does this debilitating disease affect the kids suffering from it, but parents too.

According to nationally acclaimed medical asthma experts Dr. Paul Enright and Dr. Warren Lenney, asthma is the leading cause of school absences. "Parents of children with asthma have a little more to worry about as our kids become independent," says Geneva mom Sally Wielgos, parent of two daughters with asthma. "Along with routine concerns, we have to consider issues such as did my child not only pack her homework but her inhaler too? Will she know when to use it? Can she play sports and not suffer an attack?"

Motivated to help her children and others live full lives despite their asthma, Wielgos, a board-certified asthma educator and registered respiratory therapist, partnered with friend Sarah Roodhouse, a music teacher at Chicago’s Walt Disney Magnet School, to create the CD "Breathing in Tune." The 75-minute asthma education music and instructional CD has catchy songs sung by Chicago-area children addressing ways to recognize and control symptoms and how to relax through breathing therapy. When children sing along, it stimulates learning and helps with information retention, and parents enjoy the music, too.

"Parents are as drawn as their children are to the musical arrangements that gently but effectively present practical asthma management information," says Joan Cecich, manager of Respiratory Care at Naperville’s Edward Hospital.

The National Asthma Education and Prevention Program published guidelines in October 2007 citing asthma education as a major component in successful, long-term asthma management. Like preventive medicine, "Breathing in Tune" helps children and parents breathe easier. Order a CD, $25, through www.breathingintune.com.

 

 
 







 
 
 
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