Irritants and allergens in the air, such as smoke, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, mold, and pollen, can make attacks more likely. So parents who have children with asthma should keep houses clean of potential triggers.
Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) June 10, 2008
Michelle Obama, wife of presumptive Democratic Presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama, advocates asthma education and prevention in Christopher Gavigan's new book Healthy Child Healthy World.
With a foreword by Meryl Streep and contributions by Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, and Tom Hanks, as well as Michelle Obama's essay "On Having a Child with Asthma," Healthy Child Healthy World offers advice on creating a cleaner, greener, safe home for children.
"Parents of children with asthma need to know how to reduce the chances of an attack, how to treat an attack if it happens, and when to go to the hospital," writes Obama. "Irritants and allergens in the air, such as smoke, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, mold, and pollen, can make attacks more likely. So parents who have children with asthma should keep houses clean of potential triggers."
Michelle and Barack Obama's oldest daughter Malia suffers from asthma, and they do everything they can to keep their house dust-free and dander-free. When the Obama family decided to enter the Presidential race, they made a deal that their daughters could get a dog. After some research, the parents opted for a hypoallergenic dog - a soft-coated, Wheaten terrier - that does not trigger Malia's asthma.
"But that's not all of it," continues Obama. "The number of children with asthma has more than doubled since the 1980s, and this epidemic disproportionately affects minority communities. As a society, we need to help parents in the inner city live in clean environments that aren't dangerous to their children's health."
According to the book, parents can beat allergy and asthma at the source by encasing mattresses and pillows with impermeable covers that block out dust mites, dehumidifying the air, replacing furnace filters regularly, using nontoxic cleaning products, and running HEPA air purifiers to maintain healthy indoor air, among other things.
"From my experience in health care," writes Obama, who works for University of Chicago Hospitals, "I know that a lot of what contributes to the crisis is people not taking adequate care of themselves on the front end. In addition to living in unhealthy communities, our children eat poorly and exercise less than they should. They spend more time indoors, in front of the TV, where so many other asthma triggers reside. All of this together weakens their immune systems. So we need to make our children's environments healthier."
"Less than four cents of every health-care dollar is spent on prevention and public health," stresses Obama. "Our health-care system has become a disease-care system and the time for change is well overdue."
Healthy Child Healthy World features a list of Healthy Resources like achooallergy.com, where parents can find an allergy relief learning center plus air purifiers, dehumidifiers, impermeable dust mite covers, furnace filters, nontoxic cleaning supplies, and other solutions for a cleaner, greener, safer home.
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