Australia is widely considered the lucky country, however, we are home to one of the worst childhood asthma rates in the world.
This World Asthma Day, today, Asthma Foundation NSW is urging parents/carers to visit their GP to have their child’s asthma reviewed.
Asthma is one of the most common chronic illness in children, currently affecting one in 10 children and now affects over 2.3 million Australians.
Despite the rates of deaths and hospitalisations decreasing significantly over the years, more than half of the people with asthma in Australia are not managing their condition well, according to recent data from Asthma Australia.
“The majority of people shouldn’t put up with symptoms and allow their asthma to control their ability to work, learn and participate in physical activities,” Asthma Foundation NSW CEO, Michele Goldman said.
However, many people still find coping with asthma symptoms a daily struggle.
A recent post on Asthma Foundation NSW Facebook page asked how the chronic condition made children feel and sparked the following responses:
“I’m crying because it’s so hard to breathe and I’m scared because I don’t want to die.”
“I feel sad because I don’t get to go to school or go to dancing. I have to rest inside because my breathing is not good. I have to tell mummy when I feel like there is an elephant standing on my chest.”
“I hate my asthma. I can’t play my sports and miss out on going to school and seeing my friends…once I was even in hospital for my birthday…and some of the medicines make me fat.”
“I don’t like when I have my asthma because I can’t run and play with my friends and I can’t breathe.”
Ms Goldman said there are a range of reasons contributing to people having poor asthma management and control, but if it’s managed properly, most people will have minimal symptoms and be able to live full and active lives.
“The majority of people shouldn’t put up with symptoms and allow their asthma to control their ability to work, learn and participate in physical activities,” she said.
To coincide with World Asthma Day, Asthma Foundation NSW holds their annual fundraiser, PJ Day. People are encouraged to wear their PJs to work or school and raise money for much needed research into the life-threatening condition.
“We are asking people to show their support for the many children who stay home sick with asthma by wearing their PJs to work or school, or daring their boss or teacher to wear their PJs to work for the day,” Ms Goldman said.
PJ Day was initiated by a young girl called Montanna who had very severe asthma. She stayed home a lot, sick with asthma, so she decided to hold a PJ Day fundraiser and donate the money to the Foundation.
Five years ago the Foundation adopted PJ Day as its annual community fundraiser. It is held on the first Tuesday in May each year to coincide with World Asthma Day.
Host your own PJ Day event, dare your boss or teacher, help spread the word or donate online by visiting http://www.pjday.com.au