82% of Parents Restrict Playtime Activities for Children With Asthma; Allergy Season Causes Nearly Half of These Parents to Limit Outdoor Play
LOS ANGELES, April 28 /PRNewswire/ — New data released today find that 82 percent of parents of children ages 4-12 with asthma report having restricted playtime activities to help avoid triggers and prevent asthma attacks in their children, with 47% of them keeping children with asthma inside when allergy season is in full swing. Working parents, who more often report experiencing stress related to raising a child with asthma than non-working parents (44% vs. 38%), take more precautions, such as more often swapping carpeting for wood flooring (30% vs. 17%). They are also more likely than non-working parents to have visited the hospital because of problems stemming from their child’s asthma in 2009 (71% vs. 53%), according to a nationwide survey of 614 parents of children with asthma, ages 4-12, conducted by the private research firm, Kelton Research and funded by Sepracor Inc., to determine the impact of asthma on the lives of families.
“Managing a child’s asthma can be very taxing for all parents, especially during peak allergy seasons that can trigger symptoms in millions of children,” said Lisa Harris, M.D., Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, University of Rochester Medical Center. “But the number of asthma attacks and the level of household stress can be greatly reduced if parents learn about asthma, its triggers, and available treatment options. EveryoneBreathe.com is a great place for parents to start learning these aspects of asthma care for their children.”
Among parents who have placed restrictions on their child’s activities, 34 percent have limited sports involvement or exertion; 27 percent have prevented their child from going on sleepovers; and 14 percent have prevented their child from touching their family cat or dog in hopes of preventing an asthma attack. However, restricting their child’s behavior has caused more than a third (34%) of parents to feel guilty that they are taking away from the “normalcy” of his or her childhood.
Parents also make changes to their own activities to accommodate their child’s asthma. Ninety percent of all parents surveyed take special measures to help ward off asthma attacks, especially around the house, by replacing carpeting with wood flooring (26%), swapping out bedding for non-allergenic materials (40%) and changing linens frequently (50%).
Working parents were even more likely to take these precautions, as they missed an average of six days of work in 2009 due solely to their child’s asthma. Working parents are also more likely than their non-working counterparts to make certain their child always has a nebulized solution or an inhaler with them to treat their asthma if they have an attack (73% vs. 59%), and they more often track their child’s experiences to identify triggers (60% vs. 47%).
“As a working mom with a hectic schedule, I know what it’s like to be away from your child, constantly worrying about whether or not they have everything they need to prevent or control an asthma attack,” said Mary Joe Fernandez, a grand slam tennis champion who manages her own asthma and also helps manage her son’s asthma. “Growing up with asthma, I learned the importance of having a plan in case of an asthma attack. Today, I make sure my son, Nicholas, always has a rescue inhaler, and that his caregivers are prepared with a plan.”
Despite parents’ levels of concern and proactive efforts to protect their children, only a small portion of parents have researched other medications to manage their child’s asthma – nearly half (44%) of the parents surveyed admitted they weren’t aware of prescription asthma medications other than what their child was currently prescribed, and only 13 percent of parents said they are very knowledgeable about other asthma medication options.
What can parents do?
The number one parent-to-parent recommendation, according to respondents, is this: Learn all you can about asthma as a disease.
A new website, www.EveryoneBreathe.com, can help parents learn quickly and conveniently about asthma. EveryoneBreathe.com contains resources to assist parents in understanding the underlying disease, identifying triggers, preparing others to manage their child’s asthma when they cannot be with their child, and interacting effectively with healthcare professionals to assure their child has the treatment that is right for him or her. The site’s resources can be downloaded, printed and shared with caregivers, healthcare providers and school officials, including:
- Checklist of questions to ask of child’s healthcare provider
- Asthma Diary to record peak flow readings, asthma symptoms and medicines and bring to appointments with healthcare providers
- Caregiver Checklist to complete and share with coaches, babysitters, school nurses and other caregivers when parents aren’t present for symptoms or an attack
- Asthma Action Plan to complete with child’s healthcare provider
EveryoneBreathe.com is sponsored by Sepracor. Mary Joe Fernandez and Dr. Lisa Harris are paid spokespersons for EveryoneBreathe.com.
Kelton Research polled 614 U.S. parents with children with asthma ages 4-12 taking at least one prescription asthma medication. The study was conducted via an email invitation and online survey to parents in all 50 states between February 11 and February 24, 2010. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The margin of error is +/- 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
About Kelton Research
Kelton Research is a full service global insights firm with offices in Los Angeles and New York, and is America’s fastest growing National Market Research Consultancy. Serving as strategic partner to more than 100 of the Fortune 500 and thousands of smaller companies and organizations, Kelton utilizes a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methodologies to drive tactical recommendations for clients. For more information about Kelton’s services, please call 1.888.8.KELTON or visit www.keltonresearch.com.
SOURCE Kelton Research