Baltimore preschoolers with asthma may be at risk due to unprepared caregivers, study says

BALTIMORE - A new study by Johns Hopkins researchers shows that many children with asthma in Baltimore may not get proper care for their disease, both day-to-day and during an emergency.

The study, published Aug. 7, said fewer than half of the caregivers for preschool-age children with asthma in Baltimore were not prepared to administer medication "for routine management or emergency response to a child's chronic condition," a release about the report said. 

Researchers defined readiness as "the physical availability in the home of medications that were not expired and had remaining doses."

Caregivers were asked if they could correctly identify whether certain asthma medicine was for rescue situations or controller medication, and if they knew the dosing instructions.

Only 60 percent of children had rescue medication and fewer than 50 percent had controller medication that met five readiness index criteria. 

The study focused on 288 caregivers of children between the ages of two and six in Baltimore's Head Start programs, composed of mostly black families, between April 2011 and November 2016. The caregivers participated in a two-hour at home interview where they answered questions.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health. 

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