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Gifts for Children with Asthma

For birthdays, for holidays, for being a great kid

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Having asthma is no fun, but that doesn't mean there's not fun asthma-related stuff out there to help kids stay healthy. Add some of these cool tools to your child's gift list.

1. Penguin Air Purifier

Penguin Air Purifier
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
An air purifier with a HEPA Filter is an important tool for removing dust mites, pollen, and other asthma-aggravating breathables from your child's air supply. But planting some institutional-looking piece of plastic in a bedroom to do the job may make a kid feel like a patient. A cuter model that also works as room decor can improve the atmosphere in more ways than one. In addition to the penguin model, manufacturer Crane makes a cool blue shark (compare prices).
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2. "Arthur Goes to the Doctor" DVD

Arthur Goes to the Doctor DVD
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Having a friend whose gone through the same experience helps kids be less frightened by asthma and illness. Whether or not your child has such a chum in real life, there's one on the PBS series Arthur, in which the title aardvark's best bunny buddy, Buster, was diagnosed with asthma and suffered the fear and misunderstanding of his classmates as they all adjusted to his health needs. That episode is the second one on the "Arthur Goes to the Doctor" DVD set, and might be a good one to show to your child's friends to increase understanding, too.
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3. "I Am Stronger Than Asthma" T-Shirt

"I Am Stronger Than Asthma" T-Shirt
Image courtesy of Speak Up, Be Heard
Children with chronic health issues like asthma may feel weak when they have to take medications or sit out activities due to their condition. But taking responsibility for health and battling back against a frightening disease can be points of confidence, too. T-shirts with encouraging messages like "I Am Stronger Than Asthma," from the Cafepress store Speak Up, Be Heard, provide an empowering attitude adjustment. Visit the About.com Asthma site for more on "Asthma and Children's Self-Esteem."

4. "The ABC's of Asthma"

The ABC's of Asthma
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
Explaining asthma to a young child -- or to an older relative who's not up to big detailed tomes -- can be a challenge, especially when you're shaky on some of the details yourself. A book that spells things out in simple terms, like this "Asthma Alphabet Book for All Ages," provides parents with the perfect "in" for conveying accurate information in a non-frightening way, and also provides some nice parent-child reading time.
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5. "Facing West: A Story of the Oregon Trail"

Facing West
Photo courtesy of PriceGrabber
For an older child, a novel that makes asthma part of the action may be a better choice. [i]Facing West,[/i] an entry in the Once Upon America series for readers ages 9-12, follows a boy whose challenges in the Wild West include danger of an asthma attack on the dusty trail. If nothing else, it should put your child's asthma challenges in perspective.
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6. Asthma-Friendly Stuffed Tiger

Asthma-Safe Tiger
Image courtesy of PriceGrabber
Stuffed animals certified as asthma-friendly avoid materials that are known to aggravate asthma, and can safely be washed and dried. Other safe friends from Pretend Play Toys include a yellow Labrador, black panther cub, and white tiger. For more on the certification process and what makes a toy safe, visit the Asthma and Allergy Friendly site.
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7. Funhaler

Taking medicine is no fun. When young children resist using an inhaler or use it while upset, their health may be compromised. To make the process less scary and more motivating for your child, Funhaler uses a spacer that whistles and rattles to give kids an extra incentive to breathe.

8. Medical ID Jewelry

Garden variety medic alerts get the job done, but if teens think they're ugly, they may be tempted to leave them in a drawer, endangering her health. Companies like Lauren's Hope make alerts that can be as individualized as your child, with beaded bracelets, colorful wristbands, and necklaces decorated with flowers or soccer balls.
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