Creating the Right Respiratory Environment for Kids

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Asthma and other pediatric respiratory problems are the top reason children are treated at Dayton Children's. This is one reason we are diligent about improving outcomes for our asthma patients. We know that many parents and families of children with asthma struggle to reduce asthma triggers in the home. One of the most important triggers is secondhand smoke. Helping families take better care of the their children is the reason for the following community programs.

Helping children in the home

Children exposed to secondhand smoke are three to five times more likely to be hospitalized and show an increased use of medical resources. These children also tend to have a stressed immune system that makes them more susceptible to ear infections, asthma, sepsis and infection compared to those not exposed to secondhand smoke. Maternal smoking causes poor fetal growth and contributes to more than 25 percent of all premature births and increases the risk of SIDS.

Since 2002, Dayton Children’s has worked diligently to educate parents about the impact of smoking to make sure kids have a healthy environment.

Though state tobacco prevention and cessation funding was significantly reduced and many community collaborative efforts disbanded, in 2008-2009, Dayton Children’s continued to provide several educational programs to increase asthma and tobacco awareness.

  • Dayton Children’s pediatric respiratory staff provided tobacco counseling for more than 1000 families at the patients’ bedside.
  • More than 199 health care professionals at college campuses and physician offices received training on use of program materials and tools to help them identify, track and offer tobacco counseling and treatment to their patients in private physician office settings, health clinics and hospitals.
  • Fifteen teens participated in Dayton Children’s STAND (Stop Tobacco and Nicotine Dependency Program), to help quit smoking. This program helps support the juvenile court system and local high schools’ alternative to suspension programs.
  • More than 1000 students were educated on tobacco prevention and asthma awareness through health fairs and high school tour groups.
  • To promote asthma health on a statewide level, one of Dayton Children’s respiratory staff served as Chair of the State of Ohio Asthma Coalition (OAC) 2008-2009 with over 200 members.
  • This leadership led the coalition in a reorganization and development of the next five year statewide strategic plan. The respiratory therapist continues to be involved in the coalition as chair of the home visit initiative of the statewide strategic plan.
  • Dayton Children's continues to work with interested state asthma advocates to pilot our comprehensive Bringing Respiratory Education and Environmental Assessment to the Home Environment (BREATHE) in-home asthma education program statewide.
  • Dayton Children's worked collaboratively with the American Lung Association (ALA) to provide Asthma Education Certification Course for 25 people preparing to take the national asthma educator certification exam.
  • Also in collaboration with ALA and Kettering College Medical Center Respiratory Program (KCMA), Respiratory staff initiated and provided the “Open Airways School” (OAS) Program (asthma education for students with asthma) at two Dayton Elementary Schools.  KCMA respiratory therapy students participated in an all day OAS training course that prepared them to go to local schools and provide asthma education for students diagnosed with asthma.  The OAS program comprised of 6 sessions which helped 15 students to better manage their asthma.  
  • Respiratory staff gave a lecture at the UVMC-Pediatric Symposium- “Pediatric Asthma Update” for 20 health care professionals and a lecture on “Community Health Services” to 18 KCMA Nursing students.
  • Respiratory therapy staff are also members of the Family Educating Allergy/Asthma Together group (FEAT).

Dayton Children’s enforces their smoke-free campus policy to ensure a healthy and safe environment for all patients and visitors.

The pediatric respiratory care team at Dayton Children’s is comprised of licensed respiratory care professionals who work closely with physicians, nurses and other specialists to provide a high level of care.

The therapists provide care for children of all ages helping to treat respiratory diseases and illnesses including asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital diseases and others. For more information, visit our pediatric respiratory main page.


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The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

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