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National PJ Day fundraiser launched by Asthma Australia

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Asthma Australia is urging schools to get behind its PJ Day fundraiser by organising a day when students and teachers wear their PJs, a dressing gown or slippers to school to raise awareness and funds to help children with asthma.

The statistics are frightening:

  • Nearly 500,000 Australian children aged 0-14 have asthma
  • Asthma is the top reason children visit Emergency Departments and a leading cause of school absence
  • There were 39,448 asthma hospitalisations in 2015-16 and children aged 0-14 make up 51% of these.

Funds raised will help Asthma Australia to provide vital services including its 1800 ASTHMA Helpline (1800 278 462), research grants, and community information and health campaigns.

PJ Day began in 2007 as a New South Wales initiative. It was the brainchild of a twelve-year-old girl with asthma who spent a lot of time in hospital in her pyjamas. She came up with the idea of wearing her pyjamas to school to show what children with asthma go through and to raise money for asthma services.

Michele Goldman CEO of Asthma Australia said: “This is the first year the campaign is going national so we are really excited about involving more schools and young people in the fun, and spreading the word about asthma.
 
"Children often spend time in hospital because of asthma flare-ups and it can be a really scary time for children and parents. PJ Day is a great way to raise awareness of the seriousness of asthma and the need for services to support families caring for a child with asthma.”

PJ Day events can take place on any day between 1 June – 31 August. Schools interested in running a PJ Day event can find out more at www.asthmaaustralia.org.au/pjday
 
Brisbane mum, Sasha Murphy has asthma, and so does her daughter Taylah (14) and her son Miller (5). She says raising community awareness is important, particularly for children and parents: “I’ve been very fortunate that I have had time to really get to know this condition. Unfortunately, too many people don’t get that time. Asthma is a silent condition that takes lives without much of a warning.
 
"I don’t leave the house without a reliever and a spacer and I am diligent in taking all our asthma preventers. Never underestimate the power of asthma preventer medications.


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