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Spend Wisely This Holiday, Find Gifts That Are Good Fun and Good For You
Date:12/11/2008

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With everyone mindful of budgets and spending this holiday season, now is the perfect time to think beyond the routine perfume or socks and to give gifts that are not just fun, but are good for the health too. Finding special gifts for loved ones with asthma or allergies is easy this year. The asthma and allergy friendly(TM) Certification Program is helping holiday shoppers all over the U.S. find products that have been scientifically tested and proven to be more suitable for people with asthma and allergic sensitivities.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20081212/DCF010 )

Currently more than 100 gift items in 11 categories are Certified asthma & allergy friendly(TM) including bedding, plush toys, dolls, pillows, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and more. Certified products are already on the shelves in more than 20 major retail stores including Wal-Mart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Home Depot, Lowes, Kohl's, Build-a-Bear Workshop and Amazon.com, among others. Holiday shoppers should look for the asthma & allergy friendly(TM) Certification Mark on store shelves and product packaging, and visit http://www.asthmaandallergyfriendly.com for more information.

Each certified gift comes with a unique registration code and instructions to help people keep them in "asthma & allergy friendly" condition. For example, the certified plush toys come with a tag containing wash and care instructions. Other certified products such as pillows and encasements come with special wash and care instructions, as well as other tips.

ASTHMA, ALLERGIES AFFECT 60 MILLION AMERICANS

More than 60 million people in the U.S. have asthma and/or 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. Bob Overholt, a Board Certified allergist with adult and pediatric patients in Knoxville, Tennessee. "Carpets, bedding and plush toys can carry dust mites and other allergens that are a major problem for asthma and allergy sufferers," says Overholt.

For years, allergists have instructed their patients to look for household products that help to reduce exposure to allergens and irritants, and, according to Overholt, the asthma care guidelines from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) make a strong case for such measures. "The NIH guidelines are clear that household environmental control and avoidance of allergens is critical for patients," says Overholt.

Visit http://www.asthmaandallergyfriendly.com for more information.

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. http://www.aafa.org

About ASL

Allergy Standards Limited (ASL) is a physician-led global certification company that prepares independent standards for testing a wide range of products to determine their suitability for asthmatics and individuals with associated allergies. ASL's management team possesses specialist skills in a variety of medical fields including asthma and other allergic diseases. http://www.allergystandards.com


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SOURCE Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
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