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Last Edited: 2/17/2006

Childhood Asthma Initiative
07/2000 - 06/2003

NEW!  Study Released

Asthma-Related Environmental Practices and Asthma Awareness in California  Child Care Centers



The Childhood Asthma Initiative (CAI) funded by the California Children and Families Commission (CCFC) is a collaborative project of three branches of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS): the Environmental Health Investigations Branch, the Chronic Disease Control Branch, and the Children’s Medical Services Branch.  The goal of the CAI is to improve the quality of life for children with asthma, ages 0 – 5 years.  

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood.  While asthma cannot be cured, steps can be taken to reduce the “triggers” in a child’s environment that can cause an asthma attack. With nearly a million California children spending some part of their day at a licensed child care center or family child care home, child care is one environment that can play a significant role in the lives of children with asthma.

In 2002, the  Environmental Health Investigations Branch (EHIB) surveyed site directors and staff at licensed child care centers throughout California about asthma and potential asthma triggers in their centers. The survey results indicated that environmental risk factors are commonly present in child care centers and that knowledge among child care staff about asthma varies widely. (see presentation)

The report of findings for this project  recommends that educational campaigns are needed to raise awareness among child care providers about how to identify and effectively control asthma triggers in their environments. Because it is critical that child care professionals participate in shaping such a campaign, EHIB sponsored a series of focus groups with both child care providers and provider trainers.  These groups provided valuable information and insight that will guide development of future programs to effectively train California child care providers about asthma triggers (see presentation).

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