Dyson and Harvey Norman partner to give $500,000 for childhood asthma

By Martin Vedris

SYDNEY: In support of the recent National Asthma Week push to educate parents about the importance of managing childhood asthma, long-time Asthma Foundations partner Dyson and Harvey Norman are giving away Dyson vacuum cleaners to day care centres.

During October 2008, one in every six Dyson HEPA vacuum cleaners sold through Harvey Norman will be donated to a childcare centre as part of a Donate a Dyson promotion. A statement from Dyson said the aim of the promotion is to raise awareness to the fact that one in six children today are living with asthma. The target of the campaign is to donate half a million dollars worth of Dyson cleaners.

The campaign is run as part of the ongoing ‘Kids Breathe Better’ campaign which Dyson says has helped raise in excess of $1.5 million to date. The Donate a Dyson promotion also sees asthma information packs being sent to childcare centres nationally.

Each information pack includes flyers, first aid magnets and details about how centres can become accredited as asthma-friendly.

Parents, carers, centre operators and the general public are encouraged to register their votes online at www.kidsbreathebetter.com.au for their nominated local childcare centre to receive a Dyson. The centres receiving the most votes will be awarded a brand new Dyson DC23 Turbine vacuum cleaner valued at RRP $949.

Commenting on the launch of the new campaign, Asthma Foundations Australia CEO, Robin Ould, was extremely positive about the impact the campaign will have within local communities, and especially with childcare educators, about the need to be asthma friendly.

“In Australia, we know there are increasing numbers of young children being cared for outside the home, so it is imperative that we provide these community carers with the information they need to care for kids with asthma; this campaign is a great opportunity to push forward our asthma friendly child services program, and invite centres to book local Asthma Foundation educators during this time,” said Ould.

Dyson SEA Managing Director, Ross Cameron is excited to be involved with providing tangible, practical aid with this latest ‘kids breathe better’ initiative.

“We know one of the recommendations by our microbiology lab, that is also supported by the Asthma Foundations of Australia in helping manage asthma, is to maintain a clean environment; vacuum cleaning with a Dyson helps remove more dirt, dust and other allergens like pollen, bacteria and mould spores, all of which can trigger asthma attacks,” Cameron said.

Awareness of the depth of the asthma problem is often overlooked but it is one of the most prevalent medical conditions in Australia. Asthma is one of the major reasons for a child’s visit to the local hospital emergency ward, and also one of the top reasons for school absenteeism and in Australia.

“Hopefully by providing childcare centres with a Dyson to clean with, we’ll help them help their kids breathe better,” said Cameron.

Childcare centres, parents and the local community can vote for their centre online at www.kidsbreathbetter.com.au now. The Donate a Dyson campaign commences in Harvey Norman stores on 1 October 2008.

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