1997 OPEN FORUM Abstracts
A SURVEY OF ASTHMA CARE AND EXPERIENCE IN DAYCARE AND PRESCHOOL CENTERS
Timothy R. Myers, RRT. Carolyn Kercsmar MD, Thomas Kallstrom, RRT, and Robert Chatburn RRT. Rainbow Babies & Childrens Hospital and Case Western Reserve Uni., Cleveland, OH.
Introduction: There have been many programs developed and implemented to either improve or introduce routine asthma education and care into public schools. Recent data reveal increases in the prevalence of asthma in children less than five years old. Despite this data, there are no programs currently available to address asthma education and care in daycare or preschool facilities. In working with parents of asthmatic children, we have been informed of situations where parents have either lost or quit their jobs to provide daily care for an asthmatic child, because either the daycare facility would not provide treatments or the parents did not feel comfortable with the facility's experience in asthma care. Objective: Develop and administer a survey to daycare facilities to determine the need for an asthma education program. Methods: A survey instrument was developed and mailed in January 1997 to 700 Northeast Ohio license daycare and/or preschool facilities. Results: 41% of the surveys were returned within a 6 week period. Of the respondents, 97% of the facilities reported accepting children with asthma. Twenty-one percent of the centers have had a child experience an asthma attack at their facility. Below are some additional data from the survey (listed as % respondents rounded to nearest whole number).
Yes No Unsure/No Answer
Centers providing routine treatments 47 48 5
Centers providing treatment for symptoms 43 46 12
Centers willing to provide treatments
with proper training 73 11 16
Centers aware of asthma signs
and symptoms 61 11 28
Centers aware of potential
asthma triggers 57 15 28
Experience Level None Some Very
Centers familiar with asthma
medications and use 34 58 9
Centers familiar with delivery
devices and use 23 67 10
Setting % Enrollees % Asthmatics % Stay(hrs.) %
Rural 11 0-15 3 0 6 0-4 32
Suburban 70 16-30 8 1-5 71 4-6 11
Urban 19 31-50 24 6-15 12 6-10 57
> 50 65 >15 2
Conclusion: Daycare facilities are confronted with an increasing number of children with asthma in their facilities. Less than 50% of the facilities responding provide treatment to asthmatic children. Despite low percentages in treatments administered, experience or asthma education, 97% of these facilities accept children with asthma. From this survey's data, there appears to be a need for an asthma program directed towards daycare/preschool programs. A program is currently being developed.