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NEW CHILDREN'S STORYBOOK HELPS PARENTS TEACH THEIR CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA ABOUT THEIR CONDITION

Schering-Plough partners with the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics to tell the delightful story of "Breathless Bethany Buttercup"

KENILWORTH, N.J., March 24, 2009 /PRNewswire/ — Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children, with approximately 6.8 million children currently with asthma in the United States.1,2 It accounts for almost 13 million missed school days each year and is the third-ranking cause of hospitalization among those younger than 15 years of age.3,4 With statistics like these, a diagnosis of asthma can often be daunting for parents and children. Parents often struggle with the best way to talk to their children about asthma, and many children with asthma report a desire not to be treated differently from other children.5 To help parents speak with their children about asthma and support children coping with their disease, Schering-Plough Corporation has partnered with the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) to develop a fun, yet educational, storybook, Breathless Bethany Buttercup, that uses a little girl's story about her experience with asthma to provide information about asthma management.

"When my daughter, Danielle, was first diagnosed with asthma, I was in need of a way to help me talk to her about the condition and the importance of using medication to help her feel better," said Julie Driggers of Omaha, Nebraska. "It is great to see that there is now an informative resource like this storybook available for children. This storybook also conveys the seriousness of asthma and highlights the importance of working with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan."

Some children find it difficult to accept an asthma diagnosis, which makes the role of a parent all the more vital. According to a 2007 study published in the journal Pediatric Nurse, it is important for parents to talk to a physician about ways to build their child's self-confidence and prevent them from feeling stigmatized when they display difficulty coping with their asthma.6 Parents should also monitor their child's asthma and continue to work with their child's physician to determine an appropriate asthma management plan.7

"We're excited to collaborate with Schering-Plough on the development of an asthma storybook for children," said Nancy Sander, founder and president of the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics. "The number one reason why parents call our organization is to find answers to questions about medications and how to help their children to take them as prescribed. Breathless Bethany Buttercup provides the perfect forum for parents and children to talk about asthma and how to manage their condition."

Breathless Bethany Buttercup was written by Tolya Thompson and illustrated by Curt Walstead. With playful rhymes and colorful illustrations, the storybook appeals to early elementary school-aged students and parents can order a free copy through Schering-Plough and the Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics. For more information or to receive your own copy, visit www.asthmastorybook.com or www.breatherville.org.

About Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is a chronic disorder characterized by inflammation of the air passages, resulting in the temporary narrowing of the airways that transport air from the nose and mouth to the lungs.8 Asthma symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath, can occur and can impact multiple aspects of patients' lives.9 Asthma is the most common chronic condition among children1, and it is the cause of 7 million outpatient asthma visits to physician offices and nearly 200,000 hospitalizations among children each year in the United States.3 It is also the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15.4

About Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA)

Founded in 1985, Allergy & Asthma Network Mothers of Asthmatics is the leading national nonprofit family organization dedicated to eliminating suffering and death due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. AANMA's core areas of expertise are education, advocacy and outreach. Call 800.878.4403 or visit www.breatherville.org.

About Schering-Plough Corporation

Schering-Plough is an innovation-driven, science-centered global health care company. Through its own biopharmaceutical research and collaborations with partners, Schering-Plough creates therapies that help save and improve lives around the world. The company applies its research-and-development platform to human prescription, animal health and consumer healthcare products. Schering-Plough's vision is to "Earn Trust, Every Day" with the doctors, patients, customers and other stakeholders served by its colleagues around the world. The company is based in Kenilworth, N.J., and its Web site is www.schering-plough.com.

References

  1. "Childhood Asthma." Challenges for the 21st Century: Chronic and Disabling Conditions. National Academy on an Aging Society, No. 8 June 2000. www.agingsociety.org/agingsociety/pdf/asthma.pdf
  2. "Fast Stats A to Z: Asthma." National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2008. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/asthma.htm
  3. "Asthma Prevalence, Health Care Use and Mortality: United States, 2003-05." National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2006. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/ashtma03-05/asthma03-05.htm.
  4. "Asthma & Children Fact Sheet." American Lung Association, September 2007. http://www.lungusa.org/site/apps/nl/content3.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=2058817&content_id={05C5FA0A-A953-4BB6-BB74-F07C2ECCABA9}&notoc=1.
  5. "Talking to Your Child About Asthma." American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology, 2000. http://www.aaaai.org/patients/allergic_conditions/pediatric_asthma/talking_to_child.stm
  6. Butz, Arlene M., et. al. "Shared Decision Making In School Age Children with Asthma." Pediatric Nurse, 2007; 33(2): 111-116. http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=2269724
  7. "Asthma in Children: Creating an Asthma Action Plan." Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2008. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/asthma/HQ00273.
  8. "Asthma Facts and Figures." Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 2005. http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=8&sub=42
  9. "What is Asthma?" National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, May 2006. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Asthma/Asthma_WhatIs.html