‘Asthma Friendly' Toys in Stores Now for the Holidays

|

AAFAGotta love this article. "Asthma-friendly" toys. And if the toy doesn't have this logo on it, does it mean it will cause asthma? By the way, I would think that all the toys must be asthma-friendly, not just the ones that have this logo. It looks to me that someone (AAFA) is trying to profit a bit on asthma topic. For me this "asthma-friendly" logo goes to the same line of marketing innovations such as "bio products", "without cholesterol", "asbestos free", etc.

HealthNewsDigest.com, WASHINGTON - Santa Claus can cross one item off his list this holiday: finding toys for children who have asthma and allergies. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) has already done the work for him by launching a creative new program to certify products as "asthma friendly(R)."

The "asthma friendly" certified toys are already on the shelves at major retailers including Target, Kohl's, Build-a-Bear Workshop, FAO Schwartz, Learning Express and many others. All Santa has to do is look for the asthma friendly(R) certification mark or visit http://www.asthmafriendly.com to find toys that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergic sensitivities. Certified pillows will be available in December, and mattress and pillow protectors/encasements, vacuum cleaners, paints, flooring and other types of items will also be considered for certification next year.

ASTHMA, ALLERGIES AFFECT 60 MILLION AMERICANS

More than 60 million people in the U.S. have asthma and allergies, making them two of the most common chronic diseases among children and adults. Prevalence rates for both diseases have doubled in the past 20 years, and doctors and scientists warn that asthma and allergy triggers are everywhere. "Symptoms such as sneezing, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing can be triggered by many things around the house," says Dr. Sheryl Lucas, a Board Certified allergist with adult and pediatric patients in Washington. "Stuffed toys are notorious for carrying dust mites and other substances that can be a major problem for children who take plush toys everywhere they go, including to bed," says Lucas.

For years, allergists have instructed their patients to look for household products that help to reduce exposure to allergens and irritants, but, according to Lucas, it's been a guessing game. "Until now there has not been a reliable source of information about which products are best at helping with this," says Lucas. "I know a lot of doctors and patients, and moms and dads, who will be very happy that this certification program is in place," she said.

CERTIFICATION IS BASED ON RESEARCH

The "asthma friendly" certification program is a joint effort between the nonprofit AAFA and the international research and testing organization, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL). Standards are written for different types of products then manufacturers submit products for laboratory testing to determine if they meet the standards and qualify for the "asthma friendly" certification mark. Abstracts of the standards and information about the program have been posted online for the public at http://www.asthmafriendly.com.

Parents of children with asthma and allergies, like Michele Carrick of Massachusetts, feel that this program is long overdue. "My son went to college this year but I spent the first 17 years trying to find things like toys, sheets and cleaning products that didn't aggravate his asthma, all on my own," says Carrick, "I wish this program was around when he was younger. It would have made my life a whole lot easier."

This unique program does more than just inform consumers if a product is certified. Each toy comes with a unique registration code and instructions to help parents keep them in "asthma friendly" condition. For example, the certified plush toys come with a tag containing wash and care instructions such as, "place toy in the freezer for 24 hours and then machine wash" every four weeks to kill dust mites and their eggs, and other tips.

One recently certified toy, the "Floppy Puppy Dog" manufactured by Kids Preferred and sold at Target stores, was recently recognized by consumer advocates and toy industry experts with an Oppenheim Gold Seal award, just in time for the holidays. "This is going to be a huge help for me and my relatives when we start buying gifts for the kids this year," says Adele Bourgault, a mother from Maryland who has two children with severe asthma and allergies. "I'm sure it will be a big help for Santa, too," she added.

ABOUT AAFA

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is the leading national nonprofit organization fighting asthma and allergic diseases. AAFA provides free information, conducts educational programs, fights for patients' rights, and funds research to find better treatments and cures. Log on to http://www.aafa.org for more information.

source - HealthNewsDigest