One in five children in the Haifa area suffers from asthma and there has been a steep rise in the number of asthma attacks in recent weeks, reports Yediot Haifa. Doctors are urging parents to give asthmatic children preventative treatment, but many parents are apparently not listening. According to the report, dozens of children have been hospitalized in recent months in the Haifa area with asthma attacks, and at least two girls, one aged 13 and another 15, have died because of serious asthma attacks. National figures show that every year about 150 people die of asthma attacks in Israel, and doctors estimate that about 6 percent of the general population and about 10 percent of children suffer from the disease. Haifa reportedly has a higher rate of asthma than other cities, and environmental organizations blame air pollution for the problem. Doctors specializing in the illness said asthma attacks are more common in winter, and that children who have been diagnosed as asthmatic should not be treated only when they are having an attack, but should also receive preventative treatments of one or two inhalations or tablets daily. The doctors said preventative treatments would help ward off a serious or even lethal attack. They stressed that parents should consult their personal doctors to discuss the appropriate treatment for their child, and should always be alert for symptoms.