Engaging Kids to Manage Their Asthma

(May 2, 2012)

As we mark the start of National Asthma Awareness Month, spring is in the air—and so are asthma triggers. Did you know that more than 25 million Americans—including 7 million kids—currently have asthma? Asthma is the third-leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is a leading cause of school absences.

Asthma is a serious chronic lung disease that should not be overlooked or underestimated—especially when it comes to our children. However, it can be managed and treated so you can live an active, healthy life.

It can be especially challenging for children to understand the signs of an asthma episode and know what to do to alleviate and/or prevent it from happening. With this in mind, we excitedly introduce Lungtropolis®—a free, interactive web-based learning game to help children ages 5-10 control their asthma. The site also incorporates a resource for parents featuring comprehensive tips on caring for a child with asthma.

In the Lungtropolis Kids game, children become “Asthma Control Agents” under the tutelage of Dr. Alvi Olé as they fight to defeat the Mucus Mob. As part of the game, players watch videos and answer questions to help them learn about asthma and how to manage it.

Lungtropolis Parents offers caregivers comprehensive information and resources to understand and help manage a child’s asthma, such as advice on using asthma medicines and what to do during a breathing emergency, as well as tips on how to talk to their medical provider—and their child—about managing asthma.

Lungtropolis promotes effective asthma management and helps families put what they’ve learned into practice. According to a recent research study, children who used the game had several significant positive outcomes when compared to the control group, such as: significantly improved Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) scores, higher scores on behavioral items concerning the appropriate use of quick-relief medication, more confidence about knowing the warning signs of asthma, and higher asthma knowledge scores.

In addition to this tool, our newly updated Asthma webpage offers a multitude of helpful resources and programs for people living with asthma and their loved ones. For additional information on this chronic lung disease, visit www.lung.org/asthma, or call 1-800-586-4872 to speak to lung health specialist.