One in five children in Western Australia has a respiratory disease. It is the leading cause of hospitalisation for children under the age of four.
Children with asthma, bronchitis, chronic lung disease and cystic fibrosis present in their hundreds to Perth Children’s Hospital each year. The numbers are increasing at an alarming rate. Breathing is hard work for these children.
Imagine feeling unable to breathe, desperate to catch a breath – it is very frightening and immensely stressful for young children and their families. For many of these kids, it is a constant struggle to get air into their lungs.
Seasonal and environmental triggers such as viruses, pollen and smoke from burn offs cause significant and severe complications for children with pre-existing respiratory disease. Hospital teams brace themselves for the inevitable increase in hospital admissions – always striving to detect and treat infections before serious symptoms emerge.
- 33% of Australians report chronic respiratory diseases
- 30% of all child hospital admissions are due to respiratory conditions
- Asthma alone costs Australia $28 billion per year
- over 110,000 children have a serious lung disease in Western Australia alone
- Aboriginal children are 10 times more likely to be hospitalised with an acute respiratory illness
- Aboriginal children are twice as likely to die from respiratory disease
At Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation, we are doing everything we can to help children breathe easier. Funding critical research and specialised training, building the expertise of hospital teams alongside the provision of life-saving equipment and finding better ways to support the mental health of children with serious respiratory disease is hugely important.