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Asthma and Allergy Foundation Helps New First-Dad Keep His First Promise
Date:12/1/2008

Group Donates 'Asthma & Allergy Friendly' Toy Puppies to the Obama Daughters

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Much has been made of President-Elect Obama's first promise: to get a family dog. But concerns about his daughter's asthma and allergies, and timing issues, have kept the new first-dad from making a decision. So, in the meantime, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) is donating 2 "asthma & allergy friendly" toy puppies to the Obama children.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081202/DC49085)

The special stuffed toys sent this week -- a Jack Russell Terrier and a Yellow Labrador Retriever -- are examples of many that have recently been tested and certified by AAFA to be more suitable for children with asthma and allergies.

To be certified by the Foundation, plush toys are put through rigorous laboratory testing including a review of raw textiles, chemicals, dyes, stitching, stuffing and other materials. Testing also includes dust mite exposure measurements, washability and durability.

"Real dogs can cause serious problems for people with asthma and allergies," according to Bob Overholt, MD, a board certified allergist in Knoxville and host of the "Dr. Bob Show" on the AmericanLife TV Network. "When inhaled into the nose and lungs, dog dander can trigger sneezing, coughing, wheezing and other symptoms that make breathing difficult," says Overholt. "Regular stuffed toys can cause problems as well, since they can harbor dust mites and harsh chemicals that trigger asthma and allergy symptoms."

"Finding toys that are more suitable for kids with asthma and allergies is the right way to go," says Yucynthia Jean-Louis, chair of AAFA's national board of directors. "The asthma & allergy friendly(TM) Certi
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SOURCE The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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