Jacob Fray’s West Philadelphia home has everything a toddler could want: lots of toys, his own playroom, and doting parents who love him to the moon and back.
Yet even all that couldn’t spare the bright-eyed 2-year-old from a several days’ stay last fall at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), wheezing and fighting for breath. Like so many children, Jacob has asthma and his home contained a multitude of triggers.
Even homes tended with the best of intentions can be respiratory battle zones for little ones with allergic asthma — the type most common for young children. Nearly invisible dust mites, out-of-the-way mold, second- and even third-hand tobacco smoke, dander from household pets, such pests as cockroaches and mice, and other common household presences can be enough to trigger asthma attacks and aggravate inflammation-prone airways.
CHOP’s Community Asthma Prevention Program (CAPP) has been helping its young patients’ families identify and correct or reduce these home hazards for close to two decades. This year, however, they stepped up their game.
Since January, CHOP, in partnership with the Philadelphia Housing Development Corp., has embarked on a new campaign called CAPP+. In the pilot phase, homes of 10 CAPP patients were chosen for asthma-trigger removal, including home repairs and renovations, averaging about $20,000 a residence. Jacob’s home was one of them.