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The Paediatric Asthma in Canada Survey

Severity Levels

As a parent, you need to recognize the severity of your child's asthma. Although your child's asthma may be classified mild to moderate, the diagnosis doesn't take away from the severity of the disease and the need to keep your child's asthma under control, everyday!

  • Only three per cent of parents say that their child's asthma is severe with 23 per cent saying moderate and 74 per cent saying mild.
  • Parents of children with mild cases of asthma are less concerned than parents of children with moderate to severe asthma (58 per cent versus 92 per cent); while 33 per cent of parents indicate that they are not very concerned about their child's asthma.

Controlling Asthma

All childhood asthma, regardless of the level of severity, should be a concern and taken seriously - recurring asthma attacks, multiple unscheduled doctor appointments and emergency room visits mean that your child may be at risk of serious harm or even death. These are signs that your child's asthma is not effectively controlled.

  • 17 per cent of parents admit that their child deals with an asthma attack at least once a month.
  • 44 per cent of parents have had to make an unscheduled appointment to their doctor to treat their child's asthma in the past year, with 10 per cent saying they have had to make three or more appointments in the last year.
  • 26 per cent of parents indicate that they took their children to the Emergency Department in the past year.

Daily Action Plans

It is important that parents get involved in their child's asthma management process. Ensuring that your child take their physician recommended medications and creating an Asthma Action Plan are important steps in managing your child's asthma.

  • Only 27 per cent of children use their physician recommended medication daily, whether they are experiencing problems or not.
  • 46 per cent of children with moderate or severe asthma use their medication daily compared to only 18 per cent of children with mild asthma.
  • 58 per cent of parents indicate that they have never heard of an asthma action plan.

Safety of Asthma Treatments

Parents indicate that they have concerns about the safety of their child's asthma treatments. Parents should speak to their physician about available treatment options that have proven safety and tolerability profiles. Alvesco® is a new generation inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) that allows for once-daily administration in most patients, providing effective therapy with a favourable safety and tolerability profile that has shown no effect on human growth.

  • Seven-in-10 parents indicate that they are aware of and concerned with potential side effects of their child's asthma medication, including long-term side effects such as growth retardation.

Diagnosing Your Child

Asthma is a chronic illness and parents need to be involved in the ongoing management of their child's asthma right from the beginning. Proper diagnosis of asthma is essential.

  • 78 per cent of parents said their child's asthma was diagnosed by the doctor's recognition of symptoms, with no other testing being completed.
Other tests that you should be aware of include:
  • Testing breathing with a spirometer
  • Listening to lungs
  • Allergy skin tests
  • Chest x-ray or electrocardiogram
  • Nasal passage exaiminations

About the Paediatric Asthma in Canada survey

The Paediatric Asthma in Canada survey was developed based on findings from two focus groups and was sponsored by Nycomed Canada Inc. working with the Asthma Society of Canada (ASC). The survey and focus groups were conducted by Leger Marketing and were initiated to obtain insight into the knowledge of asthma among Canadian children with varying degrees of asthma severity and to identify unmet needs in treatment and management.

Two separate national online surveys were implemented. The first survey polled 608 Canadian parents of children with asthma under the age of 13. A second survey was conducted among 215 Canadian physicians who treat children with asthma under the age of 13.

We hope that sharing these results and experiences of other families with children with asthma will help you better manage your child's disease.

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