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Federal agency launches asthma educational campaign

For many, asthma is a manageable condition. With the help of medicated inhalers or other treatments, students and workers may be able to carry on their normal activities, without requiring disability leave or assistance from programs such as Social Security disability insurance.

Yet not even the most conscientious asthma patients might escape hospitalization in September, however. According to clinical studies, September is the month when asthma hospitalizations peak. That fact may explain the timing behind the Environmental Protection Agency's new series of advertisements about childhood asthma. 

The agency recently launched the public service advertisements to provide prevention tips against asthma attacks. Asthma is marked by symptoms of chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes, often triggered by environmental influences that may include smoke, allergens, dust or infection. The EPA advertisements suggest that parents can help to remove triggers from a child’s environment by frequent vacuuming, not smoking indoors, and cleaning mold or mildew.

Mindful of their target demographic -- kids 16 years of age and younger -- the advertisements feature a puppet rock band. To reach a broad audience, the advertisements are also in both English and Spanish, and will be broadcast in a variety of mediums, including radio and online sites.

Of course, asthma may not end when an individual enters adulthood. For many Americans, the condition is a lifelong, chronic disease that may impact functioning at home and in the workplace. When it becomes unmanageable, the SSDI program might warrant a second look. In that process, an attorney might prove to be a useful guide.

Source: usatoday.com, “Puppets strike a chord, educate about childhood asthma,” Cathy Payne, Sept. 17, 2013

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