May 2012: Asthma-friendly Environments

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

Highlighting Local Stories and Resources

This is the fourth and final edition of our series of Asthma Awareness Month e-newsletters. You can view our previous special editions on our website:

This week, we're highlighting the importance of asthma-friendly environments. To help a child manage his or her asthma, limiting exposure to triggers is essential. By removing common allergens and irritants from your home, childcare center or school, you can reduce the risk of asthma episodes and emergencies.

This week's issue includes:

Preparing Your Home for a Child with Asthma

TwinsAmy Brissette and her husband, Justin, have been conscious of reducing triggers in their home since their twin daughters, Quetzalli and Atzi (pictured), were diagnosed with asthma at age 1. The couple began by encasing their daughters' pillows and mattresses with dust mite-proof covers. "Almost as soon as we put the dust mite-proof bedding on the girls' bed, we noticed a change in Atzi's health at night," Amy said. "She used to cough and get congested, but it started to lessen after that."

Since taking proactive steps to remove allergens and irritants from her home, Amy has seen improvements in her daughters' health. They've come a long way from when Amy participated in Skyline Plunge! Chicago last September in their honor (read her story here).

Amy credits their improved health in part to asthma management tips she and her husband have implemented in their home, including:
  • Using a portable air cleaner when continuous or localized air cleaning is needed.
  • Vacuuming daily, preferably with a HEPA vacuum, which has a special filter to trap dust particles that are too small to see.
  • Removing or replacing any carpet that may have pet dander in it.
  • Reducing clutter to avoid collecting dust.
  • Using non-toxic cleaners.

Read more tips to make your home asthma-friendly.

Asthma-friendly Childcare

asthma-friendlyRespiratory Health Association offers an Asthma-friendly Childcare program, a free training on caring for children with asthma and making a center safer for children with asthma. The program includes in-person trainings and two free 20-minute webinars that you can watch at any time.  

 Learn more on our website.

Get Involved: Hike for Lung Health

HikeEach fall, teams of families, friends and coworkers join us in Lincoln Park for our annual Hike for Lung Health event. This multi-charity walk benefits Respiratory Health Association and other lung disease charities. 

Respiratory Health Association board member Ravi Kalhan, MD, MS, leads a team of more than 40 staff, family members, friends and patients of the Northwestern University Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine. As the director of Northwestern's Asthma-COPD program, Dr. Kalhan walks in honor of his patients living with lung disease.

If you'd like to form a team in honor of someone you love with asthma, register today!

Visit the Hike for Lung Health website to learn more.

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