This knowledge path directs readers to a selection of current, high-quality resources
about asthma in children and adolescents, its prevalence,
and its impact on homes, schools, and communities. The knowledge path includes
tools for improving asthma management and care and staying abreast of new
developments in pediatric asthma research. It can be used by health professionals,
program administrators, policymakers,
researchers, and community advocates to learn more about the topic, for program
training resources and information to answer specific questions.
point to resources about environmental
triggers and medications and monitoring. Separate briefs focus on resources
for families and resources about asthma management in school. The
knowledge path has been
NCEMCH and will be updated
See Asthma and Children Fact Sheet (2010) by the American Lung Association (ALA), which briefly describes asthma symptoms, triggers, treatment, prevalence
in the United States, mortality and hospitalizations, and health care costs, and
the impact of asthma on school absenteeism. Also see the Child Trends data brief, Asthma (2010), which presents data about asthma in children and adolescents, including its prevalence, trends, and differences by gender, race and ethnicity, usual
source of health care, type of insurance coverage, and food stamp receipt.
Important resource: The main guidelines for managing asthma are the Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (2007) by the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP).
for Healthcare Research and Quality
on health care outcomes; quality;
and cost, use, and access. Links
reports and research findings about
children and adolescents with asthma.
Presents a collection
of tools for states to assess
the quality of asthma care and
create quality-improvement strategies.
Includes an Asthma
Return-on-Investment (ROI) Calculator for
exploring potential financial returns
from quality-improvement and disease-management
programs. Offers access to the Healthcare
Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP),
the National Guideline
and the National
Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC).
Academy of Allergy, Asthma and
Information about continuing education
and training opportunities and
research about pediatric asthma.
Includes practice-management resources,
policy statements, patient-education
materials, and a research-related
blog. Also see AAAAI's school
tools and the National
Allergy Bureau (NAB).
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Section on Allergy and Immunology.
Information about education programs, clinical resources, and patient-education
Lung Association (ALA).
Information about ALA's
research, education, and advocacy
efforts in the prevention,
diagnosis, management, and treatment
in children and adolescents. Also see ALA's Asthma Educator Institute, State
of the Air, and the Asthma-Friendly
Schools Initiative (AFSI).
and Allergy Foundation of America
about AAFA's research and advocacy
activities and certification program
for asthma and allergy friendly
Information about community asthma
programs, webinars, an events calendar, and an online tool for
improving community asthma care. Interact with
colleagues via discussion forums, a blog, and a series of polls. AsthmaCommunityNetwork.org
is designed for community-based asthma programs and organizations that
sponsor them. The network is supported by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Asthma.
Information and materials about pediatric asthma for health professionals,
public health professionals, researchers, education
professionals, and families. Resources and initiatives include
Control Program. Program highlights, guides, and state
asthma contacts and programs for this national initiative that aims to reduce
the number of deaths, hospitalizations, emergency department visits, school or
work days missed, and limitations on activities due to asthma.
Also see CDC's National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH).
People 2020. Information about this national health-promotion
and disease-prevention initiative of the Department
of Health and Human Services. View the overview, objectives,
and recommended interventions and resources for respiratory
diseases and environmental
Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Program
information, clinical guidelines, and education tools about asthma including
the seminar, Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE).
Resources and initiatives include
Asthma Control Initiative (NACI). Information about and resources
to support this initiative to improve asthma care, asthma control,
and quality of life for people with asthma by engaging health professionals,
consumers, schools and child care centers,
professional associations, and others to overcome barriers to implementing the
Expert Panel Report
3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma (2007).
Panel Report for Expert Panel Report 3: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management
of Asthma. Partners Putting Guidelines into Action (2008).
NACI is an initiative of the National
Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP), the program that developed
the guidelines and report. Also see NACI's In the Know eNewsletter.
Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID): Asthma.
Information about research to understand how the environment, allergens,
and genetics interact with the body's own immune system to cause
asthma and aggravate symptoms.
Education Programs and Materials
Lung Association (ALA): Asthma Educator Institute. Information about this 2-day preparatory course for those qualified to take
the National Asthma Educator Certification Board (NAECB) examination.
- Asthma and Allergy
Foundation of America (AAFA): Educational Resources. Education
programs and materials for health professionals and families. Some resources
are available in Spanish.
- Maternal and Child Health Training Program: Pediatric Pulmonary Centers. Information about and links to university-based centers funded to prepare health
professionals to develop or improve community-based, family-centered health
care for children with chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma. The
training program is part of the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB).
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI): Physician Asthma Care Education (PACE). Multimedia educational seminar designed to improve physician awareness, ability,
and use of communication and therapeutic techniques for reducing the effects
of asthma on children and their families. The seminar also provides instruction
to document and code asthma counseling and on how to improve reimbursement for
- See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) PowerPoint
presentation and speaker notes, Asthma:
A Presentation of Asthma Management and Prevention, rev. ed. (2009).
- See the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF) for education programs and resources for health professionals about environmental
- See the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) and the American
Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): Section on Allergy and Immunology for continuing education information.
- See AsthmaCommunityNetwork.org: Community Programs for information
about several asthma education programs.
- See NCEMCH family resource brief, Asthma in Kids and Teens.
Data and Statistics
Literature and Research Databases
News and Commentary
Resources for Families
Resources for Schools
Resources on Specific Aspects of Asthma Management
- AIRNow. National air-quality information, including daily forecasts and real-time
conditions for many cities across the United States. Offers publications about air quality and health. Sign up for EnviroFlash to receive a daily e-mail with an air-quality forecast and suggested safety
measures when levels are unhealthy. AIRNow is a collaborative effort among
several federal agencies, news media, and tribal, state, and local agencies.
- American Lung Association (ALA): State of the Air. An annual report card and supporting resources on air pollution in communities across the nation.
- Asthma Regional Council (ARC) of New England. Reports, guidelines, meeting materials, and other resources about asthma management,
healthy homes, indoor and ambient air quality, integrated pest management,
and asthma surveillance. ARC aims to reduce the impact of asthma across New
England, through collaboration with health, housing, education, and
environmental organizations with a particular focus on the contribution
of schools, homes, and communities to the disease and with attention
to its disproportionate impact on populations at greatest risk.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): National Center for Environmental
Health. Information about asthma triggers. Initiatives include
National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. A surveillance tool for tracking environmental exposures and chronic health
conditions, such as asthma.
Also see The Community Guide: Asthma Control for recommendations about home-based, multi-trigger, multi-component environmental
- Children's Environmental Health Centers (CEHCs). Information about research investigating how environmental factors, such as
air pollutants and secondhand smoke, may affect the development of asthma or the exacerbation of asthma symptoms in children and adolescents. CEHCs are supported by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
- Clean Air Task Force (CATF). Reports, maps, and information about programs to address climate change, diesel
emissions, and coal plant emissions. CATF is a nonprofit organization dedicated
to reducing atmospheric pollution through research, advocacy, and private
- County Health Rankings. Data profiles of the counties within each of the 50 states. Counties are ranked
according to their health outcomes and the multiple health factors that determine
a county's health, including the number of air pollution particulate matter
days and the number of air pollution ozone days. The Robert Wood Johnson
Foundation is collaborating with the University of
Institute to develop these rankings.
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): Asthma. A wealth of information for health professionals, families, community advocates,
and the media about indoor and outdoor environmental factors that trigger asthma.
Resources for families include fact sheets, brochures, materials for children,
and checklists about how to eliminate asthma triggers in homes. Resources for
health professionals include new asthma studies and materials for helping consumers
manage environmental asthma triggers. Also includes information about community
outreach and education programs, video clips, and public service announcements
about asthma. Some materials are available in Spanish. Initiatives include
Asthma Awareness Month. A kit containing materials for planning community asthma-education events for Asthma Awareness Month each May.
- National Center for Healthy Housing (NCHH). Information about and resources to support research, education, training, and policies for public health and housing professionals to promote practical and cost-effective methods for making homes healthier. Topics include identifying and removing asthma triggers in the home. NCHH is supported by the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention
of Housing and Urban Development
and the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
Healthy Housing Clearinghouse. An online catalog of journal articles, reports, and other
materials about the connection
between health and housing and
safety hazards in the home. Type asthma in
the keyword field and click on
Search to identify publications
on the topic.
Environmental Home Assessment:
Tools for Public Health and Visiting
Forms for public health
and visiting nurses to use to identify
potential environmental hazards
in homes and to address those hazards.
Also offers an online training
module, with video clips and photos, for conducting a pediatric
environmental home assessment.
- National Children's Study. Information about this
study to examine the effects of
environmental influences on the
health and development of more
than 100,000 children and adolescents
across the United States, following
them from before birth until age
21. The goal of the study is to
improve children's health and well-being and to improve the prevention and
treatment of health problems such as asthma. The study is being led by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and
Human Development in collaboration
with a consortium of federal government partners.
- National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF): Pediatric Asthma Initiative. Guidelines, PowerPoint presentations, and an environmental history form in English and Spanish to integrate environmental management of asthma into pediatric health care. The initiative is supported by several federal agencies.
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS): Asthma. Information about research on how the environment influences the development
and exacerbation of asthma. Includes general information for families
and educators about asthma and its environmental triggers. Resources
A Human Health Perspective on Climate Change: A Report Outlining the Research
Needs on the Human Health Effects of Climate Change. (2010). [White paper]. One of the main sections covers asthma,
- National Library of Medicine (NLM): TOXNET (Toxicology Data Network). Collection of databases with bibliographic citations and data covering toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Databases include the Household Products Database and the Hazardous Substances Data Bank. Conduct a search by entering asthma AND (children OR adolescents) in the Search All Databases field. Click on Search to get your results.
- HEI Panel on the Health Effects of Traffic-Related Air Pollution. 2010. Traffic-Related Air Pollution: A Critical Review of the Literature on Emissions,
Exposure, and Health Effects. Boston, MA: Health Effects Institute. [Report].
- Institute of Medicine (IOM). 2000. Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. [Book].
- Office of the Surgeon General. 2010. How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and
Behavioral Basis for
Smoking-Attributable Disease. A Report of the
Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: Office of the Surgeon General. [Report, Executive summary, Consumer booklet, Clinician sheet].
- Office of the Surgeon General. 2009. The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Promote Healthy Homes. Rockville, MD: Office of the Surgeon General.
- Also see AAAAI's National Allergy Bureau (NAB) for current pollen and mold levels across the country.
Medications and Monitoring
Related NCEMCH Resources
Asthma in Children and Adolescents: Knowledge Path, 5th ed. (February 2011). (Updated: August 2014).
Author: Susan Brune Lorenzo, M.L.S., NCEMCH.
Reviewers: Ellen Bowser, R.D., L.D., University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center; Cindy Capen, M.S.N., University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center; Susan Horky, L.C.S.W., University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center; Elizabeth M. Klements, M.S., P.N.P.–B.C., A.E.–C., Children’s Hospital Boston; Angela Miney, Family Partner, University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center; Olivia Pickett, M.A., M.L.S., NCEMCH; Mary H. Wagner, M.D., University of Florida Pediatric Pulmonary Center; Elizabeth R. Woods, M.D., M.P.H, Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Boston.
Editor: Ruth Barzel, M.A., NCEMCH.