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Spring Edition - April-June 2022

Breathe Easier with Florida KidCare

April showers bring May flowers and unfortunately for children with asthma and allergies, those often trigger unpleasant symptoms. May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 5 million U.S. children have asthma. 

Luckily, in addition to your standard health and dental benefits, Florida Healthy Kids plans for kids ages 5 through 18 offer value-added benefits to aid in keeping your child's asthma and allergy symptoms under control.

Examples of value-added benefits often include:

  • Hypoallergenic bedding
  • Peak flow meter and spacer
  • Carpet cleanings
  • Incentive funds for filling prescriptions and getting vaccines
  • Online asthma support programs

Specific value-added benefits vary by plan and require a diagnosis.


Community Care Plan


If you have a different plan, call the number on the back of your member ID card and ask about your value-added benefits!


A Quick Word About


By: Olunwa Ikpeazu, M.D. on behalf of Aetna Better Health of Florida


Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood and the leading cause of childhood morbidity from chronic disease as by school absences, emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

Asthma leads to recurrent episodes of wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and coughing (particularly at night).

Other diseases that may be confused with asthma include bronchiolitis, gastroesophageal reflux and foreign body aspiration.


When should I suspect asthma?

Your child may have a history of allergies, a family history of allergies or asthma, seasonal attacks of shortness of breath.

Your child may have recurrent wheezing, recurrent cough, recurrent breathlessness, activity induced cough or wheeze, tightness of the chest.


What should I do?

If you notice any of this in your child, your child could have asthma not just bronchitis or a ‘cold’.

Talk to your child’s doctor and they can make the right diagnosis. They may also give medicines to help prevent frequent attacks.

Do your best to avoid allergens such as dust mites, furred animals like cats and dogs, and tobacco smoke around your child.


Like most conditions, early diagnosis and treatment will go a long way to keep your child happy and healthy!

Helping Children with Asthma Breathe Easier

Brought to you by: Community Care Plan


Approximately one out of every nine children in Florida is living with asthma. Asthma is a condition in which the airways become inflamed and thickened, causing them to become narrow, making breathing more difficult.

Symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing

Most cases of asthma have some sort of trigger that makes it worse. Knowing what triggers your child’s asthma is important in controlling it. Benefits of managing asthma include fewer trips to the emergency room, less days missed from school and being able to live a normal, active life.

Seasonal allergies, dust, mold, pet hair, and second-hand tobacco smoke are just a few examples of common asthma triggers.

Your child’s doctor may prescribe two types of inhaled medications. Rescue inhalers are used when your child’s asthma flares up. But the key to asthma management is use of a controller inhaler. These are meant to be used daily to prevent flare ups in the first place. It is important to know how to properly use an inhaler. This video from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a good resource.

Asthma action plans are an important tool to track asthma symptoms and help parents, teachers, and caregivers know when to use an inhaler, call the doctor or seek emergency help. There are many online resources for free asthma action plans.

Your child’s doctor is your partner in managing your child’s asthma. Discuss your child’s triggers, treatment, and action plan today for a healthier tomorrow.

What is Asthma? | Florida Department of Health (

Learn How To Control Asthma | CDC

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Spring is Coming - Prepare with an Asthma Action Plan for Your Child

Brought to you by: Simply Healthcare Plans

Spring brings warm weather and outdoor activities, but it also brings pollen, mold, and grasses that can trigger your child’s asthma. An asthma action plan tells you what to do when your child feels symptoms, so your child can enjoy life without worrying about an asthma attack.

STEP 1: Partner with your child’s doctor. 

A good asthma action plan is developed with the help of your child’s doctor or a specialist. Discuss your child’s triggers and symptoms, then come up with a plan together.

STEP 2: Write down your child’s asthma care plan. 

An asthma action plan includes your child’s:

  • Name
  • Doctor and emergency contact information
  • Medications and peak flow meter readings
  • Type and severity of asthma
  • Triggers, such as animals, smoke, or exercise

STEP 3: Know your asthma color zone.

Green zone: Your child is doing well. Symptoms like coughing and wheezing are under control. This section of your child’s action plan includes information about preventing symptoms, avoiding triggers, and having a plan for exercising safely.

Yellow zone: Your child’s asthma is getting worse. This part of your child’s action plan will tell you what to do to treat your child’s symptoms.

Red zone: Seek medical care immediately. Call your child’s doctor. This section lists medications to take for breathing difficulty or other asthma-related emergencies.

STEP 4: Share your asthma action plan.

Distribute the asthma action plan with people who need it, like teachers and caregivers.


American Lung Association

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Mayo Clinic

National Infant Immunization Week

April 23-30, was National Infant Immunization week, an annual observance that underscores the importance of protecting children two years and younger from vaccine-preventable diseases. This year, a primary focus is to ensure families stay on track for their children’s well-child visits and routinely recommended vaccinations. The CDC found many parents missed or delayed routine vaccination appointments as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


The Impact of Childhood Oral Health on Academic Performance

Brought to you by: Argus Dental

Is there an association between your child’s oral health and academic performance? According to a 2019 article published in The Journal of Pediatrics, the answer is yes. The study examined United States data collected from the National Survey of Children’s Health. The results showed that there were significant associations between oral health and performance in school. 

Poor oral health can be linked to declining academic performance as well as an increase in missed days of school. Children with unmet dental needs may experience difficulty paying attention in class due to dental pain, and untreated tooth decay can influence self-image.

Below are some tips on how to help your child avoid dental issues that can impact learning.  

  • Encourage good home oral hygiene habits such as brushing at least twice per day and flossing once per day
  • Have your child visit the dentist for routine dental check-ups twice per year
  • Minimize exposure to sugar sweetened foods and beverages
  • Ensure necessary dental treatment is completed before infection or pain occurs 
  • Have conversations with your child about the importance of their teeth and gums

Remember, prevention is key. Untreated tooth decay is the most common preventable childhood disease Encouraging good dental health will only help to support your child’s performance in school.



Checking Your Child's Teeth

How can you tell if your child has

a dental problem?

By: Dr. Amber Bonnaig, DDS

on behalf of DentaQuest

When your child brushes their teeth, take some time to check their teeth to be sure they are doing a good job of brushing, and to make sure their teeth are healthy.

Look for these signs of trouble:

  • Dark spots on the teeth
  • Holes in the enamel
  • Mouth pain
  • Teeth that are sensitive to heat, cold, or sweets
  • Teeth that are painful or sensitive when chewing
  • Gums that are pulling away from the teeth

If you notice any of these problems with your child’s teeth, schedule an appointment with a dentist as soon as possible. The problem is easier to fix if treated early. Remember, having healthy teeth is very important to overall health.


National Public Health Week

Brought to you by: The Family Healthcare Foundation

We celebrated National Public Health Week April 4-10. The goal for National Public Health Week is to ensure that children and families are striving to be the healthiest they can be!1


The Importance of Public Health for Families

Public health is a science that focuses on the overall health of families through health education, prevention, and promotion. Public health assures that families have access to health services and that they are available to everyone. Public health is important for many reasons:

1.   People’s lives may be extended due to health education, prevention, and promotion

2.   Public health focuses on the health of the community, not just an individual, and

3.   Public health encourages health equity for all!2


How Children Benefit from Public Health

Children benefit from public health because it teaches them and their families the importance of living a healthy lifestyle from an early age. Children especially benefit when they receive routine well-child visits! Well-child visits screen children for vision, hearing, mental health, diet, sleeping patterns, social interactions, behavior/stress levelsand help create healthy habits for the child and the parents. Recommended immunizations are also administered during these visits.

The Family Healthcare Foundation serves the Tampa Bay area as Navigators, who are trained and certified to assist families for free with finding the right healthcare plan or program that is best for them, like Florida KidCare. Navigators also improve health literacy through community outreach, to increase equitable access to high-quality healthcare and reduce health disparities.



Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. This observance raises awareness of trauma and the impact it can have on the physical, emotional and mental wellbeing of children, families and communities. Mental health is a  critical component of each person's overall health. 

With Florida KidCare, kids have access to important mental health services because we know, helping your child navigate life's challenges is key in ensuring they grow up happy and healthy.


Contact Florida KidCare

1-888-540-KIDS (5437)

Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. (ET) |

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