Asthma and allergies are serious chronic diseases that affect many adults and children throughout the country. One in thirteen American children have food allergies. One in ten children have asthma, and one out of five Americans (adults and children) have allergies and/or asthma. That is why every year the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
As the mother of a child who suffers from both food allergies and asthma, I understand what it’s like to deal with both of these diseases on a day to day basis. With so many children and adults affected by both asthma and allergies, it’s so very important to do all we can to raise awareness about these two potentially life threatening medical conditions. Organizations like AAFA, Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), and FARE help do just that.
Here are some awareness events taking place this month:
- May 1-31: Join AAFA as they focus on prevention and treatment of asthma and allergies. You can share their PSA videos and awareness messages.
- May 1-5: Air Quality Awareness Week. Learn how air quality affects those with asthma.
- May 4: National FPIES Awareness Day – This day is set aside to honor those with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome.
- May 14- 20: Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) – One in thirteen U.S. children has a food allergy. If your child has food allergies, you can add their photo to the annual Faces of Food Allergies photo-sharing event, put on by AAFA.
- May 14-20: Check to see if your local building or landmark will #TurnItTeal for food allergies!
- May 14-20: National Eosinophil Esophagitis (EoE)Awareness Week – Learn more about EoE HERE and HERE.
- May 16: Join a Facebook chat on Food Allergies at 12:30p EDT. Co-hosted by Kids With Food Allergies and the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI).
- May 24: AAFA and AAAAI are hosting a Twitter chat on Asthma and Exercise at 1p EDT.
How you can get involved this month
There are many ways for those of us who are affected by asthma and allergies to raise awareness. Even if you aren’t directly affected by these conditions, there are still plenty of ways to get involved and show your support for those around you who are. Here are some ways you can help promote Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.
- Have asthma and/or allergies yourself? Join the AAFA photo sharing event at tackleasthma.org. Share a photo on social media or post to the AAFA community. Feel free to use hashtags #TackleAsthma and #TackleAllergies. You could win a gift pack of asthma & allergy friendly® certified products.
- Join the AAFA asthma community or KFA food allergy community and follow the AAFA blog for the latest news on asthma and allergy research and treatments. The AAFA community also provides an opportunity to connect with others who manage asthma and allergic disease for support.
- Participate in one of the awareness events mentioned above.
- Share the AAFA and KFA images on Social Media.
- Share your story with AAFA. Let others know what it’s like to live with asthma and/or allergies on a daily basis.
- Tell parents, schools and health care providers about the AAFA educational programs. AAFA provides training materials for asthma and allergies.
- Donate to AAFA on behalf of someone you love with asthma or allergies.
- Get support for yourself or a loved one with asthma and allergies by connecting with a support group.
- Consider hosting your own fundraiser or awareness event on behalf of AAFA. They can show you how!
- Check out these ways you can help celebrate Food Allergy Awareness Week.