The Black community gets hit hard by respiratory diseases, especially asthma. African-American children have the most asthma attacks out of any other ethnic group, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
African-Americans are no strangers to health disparities, but according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Black children are hit the hardest because more than 71 percent of African-Americans live in housing that doesn’t meet at least one of the Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality standards.
Dirty air can be a trigger for asthma. Any factory emissions, dust, exhaust from cars or smoke can cause poor air quality, which irritates lungs and makes chronic lung diseases worse, according to the EPA. If that’s not enough, communities of color are often less likely to have sufficient health insurance and access to treatment and preventive care. Having asthma can also affect your life in addition to your health, making you miss work and school and piling on medical debt, writes the AAFA.
The good news is that you can control your child’s asthma with these three steps from Kaiser Permanente:
—Take long-acting “controller” or “preventer” medicines according to your doctor’s advice.
—Avoid smoke of all kind, including cigarette smoke, fireplaces, wood burning stoves, incense and kerosene heaters.
—Avoid strong odors including perfume, hairspray, potpourri, household cleaning products, paint and glue.
—Avoid colds and flu by washing your hands regularly and getting a flu shot.
(Photo: Clive Gee /Landov)