Michelle Obama on Having a child with Asthma
In a new book titled "Healthy Child, Healthy World," Michelle Obama calls for increased efforts at asthma education and prevention.
The book contains contributions by Gwyneth Paltrow, Brooke Shields, and Tom Hanks, as well as Obama's essay "On Having a Child with Asthma" - and it recommends air purifiers from our website.
Michelle and Barack Obama's daughter Malia suffers from asthma, and they do everything they can to keep their house dust-free and dander-free. When the Obama family decided to enter the Presidential race, they made a deal that their daughters could get a dog. After some research, the parents opted for a hypoallergenic dog - a soft-coated, Wheaten terrier - that does not trigger Malia's asthma.
"Parents of children with asthma need to know how to reduce the chances of an attack, how to treat an attack if it happens, and when to go to the hospital," writes Obama. "Irritants and allergens in the air, such as smoke, dust mites, pet dander, cockroaches, mold, and pollen, can make attacks more likely. So parents who have children with asthma should keep houses clean of potential triggers.
"But that's not all of it. The number of children with asthma has more than doubled since the 1980s, and this epidemic disproportionately affects minority communities. As a society, we need to help parents in the inner city live in clean environments that aren't dangerous to their children's health.
"From my experience in health care, I know that a lot of what contributes to the crisis is people not taking adequate care of themselves on the front end. In addition to living in unhealthy communities, our children eat poorly and exercise less than they should. They spend more time indoors, in front of the TV, where so many other asthma triggers reside. All of this together weakens their immune systems. So we need to make our children's environments healthier.
"Less than four cents of every health-care dollar is spent on prevention and public health. Our health-care system has become a disease-care system and the time for change is well overdue."
See Michelle Obama Advocates Asthma Education, Prevention to read the full text of the article.