Educating Kids About Asthma - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Educating Kids About Asthma

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Dr. Alex Thomas’ consultations are combined with illustration. The Presence Health Allergist takes a unique approach to helping young patients understand asthma and allergies - inspired by his childhood love of comics. "I started drawing these characters as a child with asthma myself, as a way to kind of understand how my own disease was affecting me."

The result: a line of comics, posters, videos, stickers and even trading cards - starring superheroes like Iggy the Inhaler, Broncho the Bronchodilator and Coltron the Controller - all fighting villain-allergens like the Roach, Smokey Joe,  Moldar and Pollenoid, the Dust Mite and Hairy. As he points out in one of his comics, "We have Iggy the Inhaler talking to a child who is having an asthma attack. He goes in and points out the three components of asthma. My belief is that kids are pretty smart and they can understand this mechanism of action stuff if you teach it in a fun way. "

The characters and comics are a big hit with young patients like 11-year-old Abigail Burgos. "I just like the characters that he added in. It helps me because it shows you what happening inside your body. It's a lot easier to understand and it's like you can just kick back and read it."

While winter often brings relief from symptoms of outdoor allergies, sometimes you can't escape a whole new set of allergy triggers trapped inside your tightly-sealed home, like dust. Allergist Dr. Shapiro & Dr. Lokshin of Allergy and Asthma Associates are members of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) and offer these tips to combat indoor allergies:

-Reduce moisture in your home to keep dust mites in check. Maintain humidity below 55%, and don’t use a humidifier or a vaporizer.

-Filter out dust and other allergens by installing a high efficiency furnace filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 12, and be sure to change it every three months.

-Keep it clean. Wash bedding and stuffed animals in hot water every 14 days and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.

-Turn on the fan or open the window to reduce mold growth in bathrooms (while bathing) and kitchens (while cooking).

-Box up books and knick-knacks and limit the number of indoor plants. When you are buying new furniture, like chairs or sofas, opt for leather or other nonporous surfaces to make cleaning easier.

To learn more, visit Allergy & Asthma Associates Reno or log onto:

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