Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer at the American Lung Association, thinks the new guidelines help fill some gaps that existed in the previous guidelines. "The guidelines are tweaked; they are doing things that the first guidelines didn't cover," he said.
The age distinctions in the new guidelines are important, Edelman said. "By focusing more on children, they are trying to get the attention of pediatricians to treating children with asthma. Children, in the opinion of many people, are under-treated. They don't get as much inhaled steroids as many experts think they should," he said.
Edelman also thinks that the ability of children to have their rescue medication at school is very important and is part of the American Lung Association's recommendations for children going back to school.
Asthma attacks among children peak in September, he noted.
"Back to school is a good time to review and reassess your child's asthma," Edelman said. "If you don't have a written action plan, see your health-care provider and get one."
For more on asthma, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director, U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Bethesda, Md.; William W. Busse, M.D., chairman, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin; Madison; Norman Edelman, M.D., chief medical officer, American Lung Association, New York City; Aug. 29, 2007, teleconference, U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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