EPA Region 3 Regional Administrator, Donald S. Welsh presented a $41,958 check to the Pennsylvania Department of Health at St. Luke's Presbyterian Head Start, in Philadelphia to increase awareness of tobacco smoke as a trigger that exacerbates asthma.
This grant award will promote smoke free vehicles and living areas of children, thus reducing the exposure of children to second hand smoke. Education and training will be provided to daycare centers and Head Start personnel in rural and urban areas of Pennsylvania to better understand asthma management and the impact of second hand smoke on children and especially those with asthma.
Berks County has the second highest asthma rate among school age children in the Philadelphia region and the highest number of missed school days due to asthma related symptoms. To educate people on asthma as a manageable condition, the Pennsylvania Department of Health arranged for an asthma panel (including a representatives from EPA Region 3, the American Lung Association, the Safe Kids Coalition, and a local pediatrician) to be on Berks County Community Action TV to discuss what asthma is, the warning signs and symptoms of asthma, the racial disparities, and how to minimize asthma episodes through medications and reduction of environmental triggers.