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A Few Tips to Avoid Allergens this Fall September 11, 2014

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Fall Is Here

Fall Is Here

Fall is here. Kids are going back to school. Milder temperatures are on the horizon. Fall allergy season is here for the 35 million seasonal allergy sufferers. With warmer weather stretching into fall, that means fall allergens like ragweed, started impacting seasonal allergy sufferers in mid-August and will last until cold weather arrives. Here are some tips from the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program to help you avoid common allergies this fall:

Know your triggers. Not every seasonal allergy sufferer will be bothered by the same things. See an allergist to know your exact allergy trigger. Once you know your triggers, you can get your symptoms under control.

Look for this mark for products scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies

Look for this mark for products scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies

Keep your window closed. It may be tempting to crack your car or kitchen windows during unseasonably warm weather, but doing so allows pollen to drift inside and settle into your carpet and upholstery.

Clean the air. Use a certified asthma & allergy friendly™ filter in your AC/Filter. Consider a certified portable air purifier in rooms where you spend a lot times like your bedroom and family room.

Take care during yard work. Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain, when pollen levels are lower. Wear a dust mask and remove decaying debris from the yard, roof, and gutters that can lead to mold.

Don’t track pollen inside. If you’re working or exercising outside, remove shoes and jackets at the door. Shower and change your clothes as soon as you come inside to help remove any pollen you may have picked up along the way. Vacuum carpets and rugs weekly with a certified asthma & allergy friendly™ vacuum cleaner. If your carpets and rugs are soiled or dingy, have them professionally cleaned by a certified cleaning service.

Protect where you sleep. Encase your mattress and pillows in certified allergen barrier covers. Wash sheets and blankets once a week in hot water (at least 130° to 140°F) to kill dust mites.

For more information about allergen avoidance and Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ visit www.aafa.org/certifed and look for the certification mark in stores near you.

Allergy Season Isn’t Over! July 10, 2014

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Just because spring has given way to summer, it doesn’t mean that “allergy season” is over. Allergen avoidance and environmental control are mainstays of asthma and allergy care year round. Here are some of the biggest triggers of nasal allergies and asthma during the summer and tips to avoid them from the asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program:

Pollen- Although most of the trees have finished pollinating in the spring, grass and weeds continue to release pollen throughout the summer. One of the most common summer allergy triggers is ragweed, which usually arrives in July and August depending on your region of the country. Ragweed can travel for hundreds of miles in the wind. Even if it doesn’t grow where you live, it can make you feel bad if you’re allergic to it. Keep windows closed and be vigilant about removing clothes at the door that may have come in contact with pollen during yard work or outdoor activities.  Use certified HVAC filters in your central air conditioner and be sure to change them every 60-90 days.

Dust mites – Dust mite populations peak during summer. They thrive in warm, humid temperatures and thrive in beds, fabric, and carpets. Their residue can get into the air, triggering sneezes, wheezes, and runny noses. Allergen barrier mattress covers and bedding are your best defense against dust mites. Even consider taking certified covers and bedding along with you on your vacation if your hotel or rental property doesn’t offer then on beds. Nobody wants to get hit with allergies on vacation. Vacuum carpets and hard surface floors weekly with a high efficiency certified vacuum to remove accumulated dust.

Pollution- Summer air pollution can make allergy symptoms worse. One of the most common pollutants is ozone. High temperatures mixed with pollution can pose a problem for people with asthma. The stronger sunlight and calmer winds during summer can create clouds of ozone around some cities. When poor air quality is forecast, consider a certified portable Air Cleaner (commonly called an air purifier) to help clean the air in rooms where you spend the most time like your bedroom and living room.

If allergen avoidance isn’t enough and your symptoms persist, Allergists have the expertise to identify the particular allergens that are affecting you and select the most effective treatment options.

For a full listing of products and services that have been certified asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, visit www.aafa.org/certified

Look for this mark for products scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies

Look for this mark for products scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for those with asthma and allergies

“Help! What is the most important allergen reduction product to get?” December 11, 2013

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woman doing housekeepingWhere do I start?” and “What product type is the most important?”
These are two of the most common questions that are asked by asthma and allergy patients or their caregivers on the official website for the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, http://www.aafa.org/certified .
Allergens in the home hide in unexpected places. Nooks and crannies, window sills, children’s toys, a family pet, bedding, carpets, curtains and more, can all be sources for asthma and allergy triggers called “allergens.” Dust mites, mold spores, cat and dog dander, cockroaches, rodents and even pollen brought in from the outdoors reduce indoor air quality, can trigger asthma and allergy symptoms and interfere with the most routine tasks.
It is first important to realize that it is impossible to completely remove household allergens from the home, but with the proper measures, allergens can be reduced to manageable levels for those with asthma and allergic sensitivities. That’s why “allergen control, reduction and avoidance” is a cornerstone of asthma and allergy care, however, allergen reduction requires a multifaceted approach and one single cleaning step or barrier product is not enough. Finding Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ household products is a great way to begin managing and reducing your exposure to allergens. Be careful with your purchase, many products make unsubstantiated claims like “allergy free”. Certified products have been scientifically tested in independent labs and proven more suitable for asthma and allergy sufferers and remember everyone in your home can benefit from better indoor air quality. By reviewing your home on a room-by-room basis, you can identify the places where allergens tend to accumulate. The best place to start is in the bedroom; after all we spend an estimated 30% of our lives there.
Helpful hints for reducing hidden allergens in the bedroom:
• Use Certified allergen barrier bedding- Look specifically for products bearing the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Mark like the AllerZip™ Smooth Waterproof Mattress Encasement from Protect-A-Bed, the first to meet the newly adopted ASP 02:21 Certification Standard.
• Use bed sheets that meet the newly adopted ASP 02:07 Certification Standard like the Brookstone® BioSense® 500 Thread Count Cotton Sheet Set available at Bed Bath and Beyond.
• Wash Certified bedding regularly in water that is at least 130°F or according to the sewn in care instruction
• Never allow pets on the bed
• Replace the air filter in your HVAC/furnace with a Certified filter such as the Filtrete™ Ultimate Allergen 1900 or Lysol® Brand Triple Protection filter.
• Use a Certified portable air cleaner
• Vacuum floors, rugs and mattresses weekly with a Certified vacuum
• Replace mattresses every 10 years, pillows every 2 years
To see a full list of products and retail stores, or to learn more about the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, visit http://www.aafa.org/certified .

FreshAAIR newsletter from AAFA is available FREE! November 2, 2012

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The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America publishes the FreshAAIR newsletter 4 times every year and you can receive the publication for FREE by signing up on the their website by clicking  HERE  or you can download the most recent copy as a PDF by clicking HERE.

Issues of FreshAAIR also include the FREE asthma & allergy friendly™ Certified Products Guide. Only Certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products have been independently tested and shown to meet the stringent standards adopted by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Learn more at www.aafa.org/certified .

AAFA Salutes School-Based Health Centers February 15, 2012

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AAFA Salutes School-Based Health Centers

AAFA Salutes School Based Health Centers for National School Based Health Awareness Month

2/8/12

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) salutes the activities and services of school based health centers (SBHC) as communities across the country celebrate February as “National School Based Health Care Awareness Month”.

AAFA commends the work of over 1,900 SBHCs to provide comprehensive primary and preventative care predominantly to students who have experienced health care access disparities. Through a multidisciplinary team of healthcare providers, including health educators, physicians, and registered nurses, SBHCs deliver care to nearly 2 million students and their communities in school and on school grounds, regardless of ability to pay. SBHCs ensure that students suffering from asthma and allergies receive high quality primary and preventative care, and help them manage their asthma without costing them success in school. In its most recent report, the National Assembly on School Based Health Centers indicated 94.6% of SBHCs nationwide provided treatment for students with asthma, and SBHCs in schools serving grades K-12 offered prevention strategies and health promotion services for parents and students with asthma on an individual, small group, and classroom level.

AAFA’s annual State Honor Roll™ report (www.StateHonorRoll.org) analyzes states nationwideon policies enacted to support students with asthma and allergies in elementary, middle and high schools. SBHCs promote the quality of care and a healthy school environment for students outlined in the State Honor Roll™ report.  

Asthma is the leading cause of school absences from chronic illness, accounting for 14 million student absences annually. Allergies fall close behind, as the third most common chronic disease affecting children nationwide. Treatment and prevention services offered by SBHCs on school grounds are essential to ensuring school environments remain healthy and to ensuring students with asthma and allergies remain present in school so they can perform in the classroom.

Throughout this month, the National Assembly on School-Based Health Care (NASBHC) and its partners will share achievements as they gather success stories from SBHCs across the country. For more information on the work of school-based health centers and NASBHC, visit http://www.nasbhc.org/  

AAFA is an independent, not-for-profit voluntary health association dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with asthma and allergies through education, advocacy and research. AAFA was founded in 1953 by the two leading professional medical organizations in the United States devoted to the allergy/immunology specialty. AAFA’s 2011 report on state policies to protect school children with allergies and asthma can be downloaded at www.StateHonorRoll.org

Final ‘Build Smart, Breathe Easier’ House with Asthma-Healthy Features Dedicated in Atlanta December 14, 2011

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Final ‘Build Smart, Breathe Easier’ House with Asthma-Healthy Features Dedicated in Atlanta.

Holiday Issue of AAFA’s FreshAAIR is now available December 14, 2011

Posted by asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program in Health and Fitness, Health Education, Uncategorized.
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  Just in time for the holidays, the AAFA FreshAAIR newsletter is available for FREE download. Every issue is full of helpful hints and tips for those with asthma and allergic sensitivities. Subscribe for free and it will be mailed to your house 4 times a year for free.

Follow this LINK to the AAFA website.

The asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program October 18, 2011

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BUILD SMART, BREATHE EASIER October 18, 2011

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HGTV Personality and Carpenter, Carter Oosterhouse, Joins AAFA, Habitat for Humanity and Merck for Build Smart, Breather Easier Program  to Build Homes with asthma & allergy friendly® Features

As part of Build Smart, Breathe Easier Program, four houses with asthma-healthy features will be built in partnership with low-income families affected by the disease in Metro Atlanta (North Central Georgia), Detroit, Greater Los Angeles and Philadelphia.

To ensure each house is built with asthma-healthy features, AAFA is providing expert guidance on the integration of specific building techniques, materials and systems based on principles from the asthma & allergy friendly® Certification Program. Through the program, AAFA is also providing educational information about asthma, indoor air quality and asthma-healthy homes to help people nationwide try to minimize the impact of asthma on their daily lives. In conjunction, Oosterhouse will lend his expertise for building and outfitting an asthma-healthy home and participate in each of the home builds. 

CLICK HERE to read more

Traverlers to Canada Now Have Healthier Option September 23, 2011

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Finding an allergy friendly hotel while travelling on business or going away on vacation for individuals with asthma and allergies can lead to a variety of issues when trying to get a restful and uninterrupted night’s sleep. However, the asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program is thrilled to announce the integration of certified bedding in an incredible hotel. Certification Program clients, SmartSilk Corp., have secured a deal with the Quality Inn & Suites Brossard that sees them fitting the beds with The certified asthma & allergy friendly™ SmartSilk all season duvets, mattress pads and pillow protectors. With the possibility of extending this deal to other hotels, SmartSilk and the Quality Inn & Suites Brossard are taking a lot of the stress out of travelling for asthma and allergy sufferers and providing them with a cleaner, safer and more dependable option for staying away from home while limiting the amount of triggers faced. The Quality Inn & Suites Brossard is conveniently located a few minutes from downtown Montreal (details below). Click here for more details.  For more details on certified asthma & allergy friendly™ products click here, and for SmartSilk product info click here.

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