Asthma is one of the leading causes of hospital admissions for children in Canada.1 Untreated, it can be life-threatening.2
Research has shown that our health, and our children’s health, is being directly and seriously impacted by our changing climate.
Untreated, asthma can cause hospitalization – or worse.
We developed this campaign to give parents information and tools to protect themselves and their families. And we need your help.
Together, we can Make It Better.
Learn more about the steps you can take to protect your family, common asthma triggers and how climate change impacts air quality.
Steps you can take to protect your family.
Common Asthma Triggers
Learning the difference can help reduce symptoms.
How climate change impacts the air we breathe.
1 Canadian Institute for Health Information (2018). Asthma hospital stays by children and youth. Retrieved from: https://www.cihi.ca/en/asthma-hospital-stays-by-children-and-youth
2 Asthma.ca (n.d.) Infants and Children: Asthma in infants and children. Retrieved from: https://www.asthma.ca/get-help/asthma-3/control/infants-and-children/
3 Asthma Society of Canada. (n.d.) Common Asthma Triggers. Retrieved from: https://asthma.ca/get-help/asthma-3/triggers-3/common-asthma-triggers/
4 Government of Canada. (2018). Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Canada – An estimate of premature mortalities. Retrieved from: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2018/sc-hc/H144-51-2017-eng.pdf
5 Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. (April 2019). Climate Change Toolkit for Health Professionals: Module 3 – Climate Change Health Impacts across Canada. Retrieved from https://cape.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Module-3-ready-to-upload-SOLO-April-5-2019.pdf
You can lower your exposure to air pollution when you:
You can monitor outdoor air quality:
Source: Health Canada
Outdoor exercise can be very beneficial for your health and some forms of outdoor exercise, like bike riding and other forms of active transportation,6 are good for the environment too. However, when the air quality is poor, extra caution should be taken by moving exercise indoors and looking for other environmentally-friendly modes of transportation that don’t contribute to even more air pollution. Examples include taking public transit, car-sharing/car pooling, or telecommuting when possible.
6 Active transportation [Internet]. Canada.ca. 2014 [cited 17 July 2019]. Available from: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/being-active/active-transportation.html
Triggers often bring on asthma attacks. A trigger is any thing or condition that causes inflammation in the airways, which then leads to asthma symptoms.
Your personal triggers can be very different from those of another person with asthma. But in every case, it’s important to avoid your triggers in order to keep airway inflammation to a minimum and reduce the symptoms.
About inflammatory triggers
Inflammatory (allergic) triggers can cause inflammation of the lungs’ airways or tightening of the airways’ muscles. Inflammatory triggers include:
About symptom triggers
Symptom (non-allergic) triggers generally do not cause swelling, but they can provoke “twitchy” airways, especially if they’re already inflamed. Symptom triggers include:
Smoke: Exposure to smoke of any kind, whether the source is tobacco, marijuana, forest fires or campfires, can be harmful.
Copied with permission from: Asthma Canada
It is now well-established by researchers that climate change could result in a deterioration of several aspects of air quality, including:
Who is at risk
Air quality is most likely to cause health problems in vulnerable groups, such as:
Copied with permission from: Health Canada