I was delighted to read about the initiative of Survival Instinct the Network on promoting health and wellness in our Parkchester community. The article titled “Asthma Prevention Boot Camp” on March 7, 2019, was informative and outlined practical steps for parents to take in preventing asthma exacerbations. I was impressed that a community volunteer is serving as a resource and educator of a major health problem that affect our residents of Parkchester.
As a registered nurse with 15 years of experience in pediatric care, I often managed children who struggled with uncontrolled asthma despite their diligent use of prescribed medications and even after taking the steps to remove allergens from the home (carpets, pets and cigarette smoke). The author highlighted some important individual actions that can be taken to manage asthma and prevent repeated asthma attacks.
However, the community needs to be aware of the environmental component that perpetuates this health problem. Fine particular matter (PM 2.5) or soot, the most harmful air pollutant, can trigger and worsen asthma symptoms. Community health profiles for Parkchester and Soundview revealed worse air quality rates with levels of PM 2.5 measuring 8.9 micrograms per cubic meters, a level almost as high as the overall level for all of the Bronx, which measured 9.1. There is evidence of improvements in the air quality of the Bronx. However, emergency room visits related to child asthma exacerbations remains almost twice as high as all other boroughs.
What can residents of Parkchester do to help our children breathe clean air? Join me in reducing vehicle emissions by turning off our car engines while waiting. Let us also advocate for faster exchanges of clean air heating oil for our Bronx communities. Parkchester Management should also consider eliminating use of grade 6 heating oil, as the by-product pollutant is a culprit in triggering asthma in our children.
Overall, asthma management goes beyond an individual responsibility. Community support in reducing air pollutants is a vital component.
Original story: https://parkchestertimes.com/asthma-prevention-boot-camp
Shawna Townsend, RN
Shawna Townsend, MSN, RN, CNL, CPN, ONC
Complex Care Clinical Navigator @ Hospital for Special Surgery and
Adjunct Clinical Instructor @ Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing