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American Lung Association Announces New Tool to Engage Kids in Managing Their Asthma

With today marking both World Asthma Day and the start of National Asthma Awareness Month, the American Lung Association has announced the launch of Lungtropolis, an interactive web-based learning game to help children ages 5 to 10 control their asthma. The site also incorporates a resource for parents featuring comprehensive tips on caring for a child with asthma.

More than 25 million Americans currently have asthma—including 7 million kids. Asthma is the third leading cause of hospitalization among children under the age of 15 and is a leading cause of school absences.

"Asthma is a serious lung disease that should not be overlooked or underestimated—especially when it comes to our children," said Charles D. Connor, president and CEO of the American Lung Association. "Our collaboration with ORCAS has resulted in a fun and engaging approach for parents to effectively teach their children how to take control of their asthma while at the same time enhancing their own knowledge of asthma."

Developed in partnership with ORCAS and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Small Business Innovation Research Program, Lungtropolis is designed to promote effective asthma management and to motivate children and their parents to put what they learn into practice. It is grounded in behavior change theory and had great success during a recent research study conducted by ORCAS.

The research study found that children who used the Lungtropolis game had several significant positive outcomes when compared to the control group, such as: significantly improved Childhood Asthma Control Test (C-ACT) scores, higher scores on behavioral items concerning the appropriate use of quick-relief medication, more confidence about knowing the warning signs of asthma, and higher asthma knowledge scores.

"We're very pleased our relationship with the American Lung Association has evolved from a research partner to a business partner to bring this innovative and much needed product to the market," said Michael Mulvihill, CEO of ORCAS.

In the Lungtropolis Kids game, children become "Asthma Control Agents" under the tutelage of Dr. Alvi Olé as they fight to defeat the Mucus Mob. As part of the game, players watch videos and answer questions to help them learn about asthma and how to manage it.

Lungtropolis Parents offers caregivers comprehensive information and resources to understand and help manage a child's asthma, such as advice on using asthma medicines and what to do in an emergency, as well as tips on how to talk to their medical provider—and their child—about managing asthma.

In addition to this tool, the American Lung Association delivers a multitude of other resources and programs for people living with asthma and their loved ones. For additional information on this chronic lung disease, visit www.lung.org/asthma, or call 1-800-586-4872 to speak to lung health specialist.

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