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Children learn to ‘love their lungs’

B is for breathing: Liz Boden, left, teaching preschoolers how to use a breathing chamber (Photograph supplied)

Preschool children learnt to love their lungs at a presentation on asthma awareness.

Open Airways, an asthma charity, gave instructional talks and exercises during the “B is for Breathing” presentation at Warwick Preschool.

Liz Boden, the president of Open Airways, said: “It was sort of interactive and lively and fun; a fun way of learning about breathing.

“The children asked lots of questions, their hands were up and they were interested. And it was very nice to see some parents and grandparents of children who have asthma.”

Ms Boden said that the talk last Wednesday focused on the importance of healthy breathing and how to avoid asthma triggers such as chemical sprays, car exhaust and mould and dust mites.

The 70 children also performed breathing exercises and practised the use of a breathing pump with their parents.

Ms Boden added that asthmatic children received a new pillow as a part of the Pillows for Prevention drive, designed to highlight the need to change pillows at least once a year.

She explained: “Pillows, in Bermuda particularly, have a lot of mould, dust mites and bacteria, so basically we need to throw them out after a year.”

Ms Boden added: “We teach them that they shouldn’t have too many stuffed toys, particularly if they have asthma or allergies, because stuffed toys have the mildew, the mould, and the dust mites.”

She said that regular presentations at the preschool had helped make it a healthier environment for children.

Ms Boden added: “When I first went to the school, which was more than 20 years ago, the school had stitched carpets everywhere and the place had mould issues.

“We got all the carpets taken up and now there are tiles throughout, they opened all the windows, there are no more stuffed toys around, there are no more scented candles.

“The teachers are now well educated about how to make the air good for children for breathing.”

Treavina Davis, a medical insurance underwriter and mother of two, said the presentation had taught her how to better care for her daughter, Khylie, 4.

She added: “My daughter has suffered with asthma since birth and has had a bit of a rough time over the last six months with it.

“I’m hoping she grows out of it, but there will definitely be some lifestyle changes.”

Ms Davis said that she learnt more effective methods of administering asthma medication, such as inhalers.

She added: “I learnt that a lot of the home products that you do use, you don’t even realise are triggers to a lot of the attacks.”

Ms Boden said that asthma was “a huge problem in Bermuda” and affected 1 in 5 schoolchildren and 1 in 3 preschoolers.

She highlighted that, in comparison, the asthma rate for schoolchildren in the United States and Britain was 1 in ten.

Ms Boden added that asthmatic children could also suffer from eczema and allergies.

For information on how to set up an asthma awareness presentation, contact Open Airways at 232-0264