Imperial County kids suffer highest asthma rate

So-Cal county’s children three times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma

Children with asthma in Imperial County are far more likely than children in any other California county to visit the emergency room or become hospitalized.

A combination of high winds, heavy use of agricultural pesticides, industrial pollution from Mexico, unpaved roads, and a high number of low-income families lacking health-care coverage cause Imperial County’s children to visit the ER for asthma at a rate three times higher than the state average, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Severe asthma is a problem for children elsewhere in California—particularly in heavily agricultural Central Valley cities like Fresno, Bakersfield and Merced—but Imperial County is far and away the worst for hospitalizations and ER visits. One in five of the county’s children have been diagnosed with an incurable respiratory disease requiring medication.