August 2012

Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago's e-newsletter is published monthly and contains news of our happenings, program updates and links to lung health resources. To receive our monthly e-newsletter, send an email to

The Back to School Issue

This month's issue includes:

Help your child be prepared at school

AsthmaIf your child has asthma, plan ahead to make the transition back to school easier on you, your child and your child's school. In Illinois, children have a right to carry inhalers at school as long as they submit a signed note from a parent/guardian and a copy of their prescription label. You should also provide a copy of your child's asthma action plan to the school nurse.

Starting this school year, Chicago Public Schools has a new asthma policy in effect to establish clearer guidelines for communication among students, parents and school administrators. Principals will now request information on students living with asthma, including an asthma action plan, and staff who interact with children will also now be required to complete asthma management training every two years.

Find more tips for preparing for school with asthma on our website.

Talk to your children about tobacco

TobaccoEach day in the United States, more than 3,800 children under age 18 smoke their first cigarette. Help your kids stay tobacco-free by giving them the guidance they need to make good choices. Let them know that you expect them to be tobacco-free, and remind them of the short-term and long-term health impacts of smoking. There are a number of resources available to talk to your children and teens about tobacco, including:

Read more about youth tobacco use on the CDC's website.

Stop flu before it starts

As part of your scheduled back-to-shool checkups, be sure your family gets the flu vaccine. Seasonal flu is a serious health threat, especially for people living with lung disease, children and seniors, so it's important for people in these groups and anyone who interacts with them to have the vaccine.

In addition to getting immunized, remind your children to practice good hygiene by:
  • washing their hands frequently with soap and warm water, or alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water is not available
  • coughing and sneezing into their elbow, not their hands
  • avoiding close contact with people who are sick

Read more about seasonal flu on our website.

CowaLUNGa Bike Tour

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On August 4, 5 and 6, more than 300 cyclists rode our 16th annual CowaLUNGa Bike Tour. The one, two or three day tour drew everyone from families to weekend warriors, and even professional cyclist Robbie Ventura, owner of Vision Quest Coaching and former teammate of Lance Armstrong. The tour will raise $200,000 for Respiratory Health Association's lung disease research and programs.

View select photos from the event or support a rider.

Get involved: Take the Plunge!

BrentOn September 8, Brent Genseke will step over the edge in Skyline Plunge! Chicago to honor the people in his family who have asthma, including his 8-year-old son, Isaac. Despite having asthma, Brent and Isaac are active in sports. Plunge! is another way for Brent to stay active, and since he signed up it's taken on an even more personal meaning. Recently, his father told him he was diagnosed with asthma.

"I've learned just how high the chances are that someone will be affected by lung disease and that it reaches more people than you realize," Brent said. Read more of Brent's story.

Join Brent on September 8 by registering for Plunge!
Sign up with a friend and rappel side-by-side!