Asthma Attacks Declining Among U.S. Children

More work needed to continue progress.

Children with asthma in the U.S. are having fewer asthma attacks, missed school days, and visits to the hospital, according to a new Vital Signs report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The report shows that the percentage of children with asthma who experienced one or more asthma attacks in the preceding 12 months declined from 2001 (61.7%) to 2016 (53.7%). Even so, approximately half of children with asthma had one or more asthma attacks in 2016.

“We are making progress – but healthcare providers, parents, caregivers, and schools can do more to help children avoid asthma attacks,” said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “Asthma attacks can be terrifying for children and their families. Over the past decade, we’ve identified asthma management actions that work – not alone but in combination. Now we need to scale up these efforts nationwide.”

Asthma is the most common chronic lung disease of childhood, affecting approximately 6 million children in the United States. Although asthma cannot be cured, asthma symptoms can usually be controlled by avoiding or reducing exposure to asthma triggers (allergens and irritants) and by following recommendations for appropriate medical care.

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