Tallahassee, FL - More than 300 thousand americans die each year of lung disease, however, one organization has made it their mission to promote lung health and help prevent lung disease for many who may be diagnosed in the future. According to American Lung Association Area Director, Patty Ballentine, "in the Tallahassee area we have over 10 thousand kids who have been diagnosed with asthma under the age of 18 and asthma is actually the number one reason that kids miss school due to a chronic disease."
Clean air is critical to lung health. The American Lung Association released it's 2013 'State of The Air' report in April, which ranks air quality by counties in each state. It shows air quality in Florida is improving but some counties still have a long way to go. Ballentine says "Leon County has some of the worst air quality in the state and so there's a lot of things that contribute to that but we encourage everyone to go to airnow.gov to see what your air quality index is for the day and if you have a chronic disease, those are things you really need to be paying attention to."
The American Lung Association also offers programs for those diagnosed with lung disease, including a free counseling hotline with registered nurses and respiratory therapists to help those who want to quit smoking, kick the habit. Ballentine also says the American Lung Association also offers "tools and resources and educational opportunities, not just for the kids but for parents, caregivers and school faculty and they also know how to recognize triggers and symptoms so that we're keeping those kids in school because if they are not in school, they're not learning."
If you would like to get involved in making a difference to fight lung disease in our area, the upcoming 2013 "Fight for Air" Run/Walk is right around the corner on May 25th in Southwood. You can find out more information on the WCTV Facebook page or follow @GinaWCTV on Twitter.