Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and MultiCare Health System are combining in a proactive, no-cost campaign to prevent or control asthma in children.
According to the state Department of Health, asthma affects nearly 110,000 youth in Washington. Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the airways that causes swelling and narrowing of the airways. It produces mucus and obstructs airflow to the lungs. Especially during periods of poor air quality, those with asthma and other respiratory issues can have difficulty with everyday activities. MultiCare, whose countywide network of hospitals and clinics includes a clinic in Eatonville, and the county Health Department are offering the Clean Air for Kids program for preventive and management services for children with asthma, severe allergies and other respiratory issues. All Pierce County residents, as well as MultiCare pediatric patients in most MultiCare service areas, are eligible for the free services.
Asthma outreach workers provide home visits that include asthma education basics, symptom evaluation, medication and doctor’s instructions and action plans. The workers also perform an environmental assessment of the home for possible asthma triggers, such as tobacco use, secondhand and thirdhand smoke, pet dander and fur, household cleaners and chemicals, pest control, improper ventilation, dust and dust mites, track-in dirt, general cleaning, moisture control and mold, and carbon monoxide.
Healthcare providers can fax referrals or have patients contact the Health Department directly. Individuals can also contact the program directly at 253-798-4826 (253-798-7399 for Spanish speakers). Information is also available at www.tpchd.org/asthma.