Book Give-Away! Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Child

BY ON January 30, 2012

Take a Deep Breath book cover

This post is written by Lori Popkewitz Alper:

“While there is nothing more frightening than the feeling of struggling to breathe, watching your child have breathing problems is magnitudes more terrifying.” Dr. Nina Shapiro, Take a Deep Breath.

When our children are infants we hover over their cribs, listening for that deep, methodical breath in and out before we tuck ourselves in for the night. Even when our children are toddlers and preschoolers we continue to listen for that breath. The breath is our source of life. Our bodies, when working properly, move air in and out of the lungs to keep us alive. We generally don’t give much thought to breathing, until a problem arises.

For an increasing number of children taking that breath of air can be a struggle. Asthma and other breathing conditions can be the culprit. There are also times when a child’s breathing pattern, although it sounds alarming, is actually a normal part of a child’s development. How do we know as parents when to worry and when to take a deep breath?

In Dr. Nina Shapiro’s new book, Take a Deep Breath: Clear the Air for the Health of Your Child, she clearly explains all of those puzzling and often times concerning breathing patterns our children have throughout their development.

Dr. Shapiro is a mom of two children and the Director of Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. She has treated countless children and families who feel lost in what is happening with their child’s breathing.

Her book, Take a Deep Breath, is a great go-to guide for children’s breathing issues. It is written in an easy to navigate style with a quick reference “Big Picture”, “Worry” and “Don’t Worry” section at the end of each chapter. The book is divided into three sections:  Newborn to Three Months, Three Months to One Year and One to Five Years. Each section is set up in a Q & A format, covering almost everything you could imagine that relates to a child’s breathing. There is also an easily accessible table of contents, glossary and index.

The book is filled with useful material for parents, grandparents and caregivers. Did you know that newborns can only breathe through their nose? They haven’t yet developed the complex reflex which tells them to open their mouths to breathe. The only way they can breathe through their mouths is by crying.

Dr. Shapiro incorporates throughout the book valuable information concerning the air quality, both inside and outside of your home. Air quality is a key factor in keeping your child’s breathing healthy. She provides useful and easy to implement suggestions on what we can do to protect our children from breathing in harmful chemicals and allergens found in and around our home environment.

Take a Deep Breath is a book that would have been very helpful when my children were younger. As a new parent, it’s hard to not feel overwhelmed by the enormous amount of information floating around out there. This book is a concise, user-friendly guide for every parent who has questions about their child’s breathing. Even though my boys are no longer toddlers, I still spend many a night listening to an 11, 10 and 8 year old breathe. With the help of this book, I now have a better understanding of when it’s ok to take a deep breath.


Two lucky readers will receive a copy of Take a Deep Breath.

  1. Sign up for Moms Clean Air Force and leave a comment below letting us know that you have.
  2. Be sure to include your name (first name and last initial are fine) and email where we can contact you if you win.
  3. You must have a North American shipping address-No PO boxes.
  4. TWO lucky winners (drawn randomly via will receive a copy of Take a Deep Breath.
  5. Contest closes at midnight EST, Sunday, February 5, 2012. Winners will be announced on Monday, February 6, 2012.

Disclosure: Thank you to Dr. Nina Shapiro for a complimentary copy of this book to review. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.

And THANK YOU, Lori for this book review!

Lori Popkewitz Alper is the founder and editor-in-chief of Groovy Green Livin, a site dedicated to sharing simple green living tips and current information on sustainable living with individuals, families, schools and businesses. Lori uses Groovy Green Livin as a platform to create awareness, dialog and debate surrounding advocacy for healthy environments without harmful chemicals.

A contributing writer for multiple blogs and websites, Lori speaks, writes and advises on a variety of issues related to creating a greener lifestyle.

Lori is a green living educator, social media consultant, freelancer, blogger, borderline vegan and recovering attorney. She lives in the Greater Boston area with her three sons, chocolate lab and groovy husband.

In her free time she can be found practicing yoga, pitching a baseball, running, cycling, skiing, reading, cooking, or trying out a new eco friendly product.

Connect with Lori and Groovy Green Livin on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


TOPICS: Asthma, Motherhood, Pollution, Science

  • Marsha J

    I signed up for Moms Clean Air Force.

    I love the idea of the Big Picture, Worry, and Don’t Worry section at each chapter. Because honestly that is what I usually want to know right away, is this something I should worry about or not.

    • Thank you, Marsha. And thank you, Lori, for your kind words. I am thrilled to hear that “Take a Deep Breath” can give families some ‘clear’ facts about breathing issues in kids. The “Big picture”, “Worry”, and “Dont Worry” sections are easy ‘check-throughs’ in each chapter. I also include “To-do lists” for each chapter, to help you get some control over some seemingly uncontrollable situations! Happy reading, and here’s to easy breating! Best, NS

  • I signed up for MCAF!

  • Alison A.

    I signed up for Moms Clean Air Force, and I would LOVE to read this book!

  • Kari M

    I joined! Will get the book if I don’t win it.

  • I signed up. Thank you for this giveaway, and for the great information you provide on your blog. Are you by any chance looking for guest bloggers? I’ve been blogging for the past 1 1/2, and would love to contribute to your community and your cause. Check out my blog: to see my work.
    Keep up the great work mamas!

  • Amanda Hapke

    I signed up. Such a great resource. Looking forward to updates!! Thank you.

  • It’s hard to believe how the quality of our air has changed in just a decade or two. I’m thankful that as kids, we didn’t have to worry about this… but it’s really scary that our kids do. Thanks for the great review, Lori and to Moms Clean Air Force for all the work you do. Looking forward to reading this book.

  • Dominique Browning

    Thank you so much, Lori, for bringing this book to everyone’s attention. And Dr. Shapiro, we need more wonderfully caring souls like you to spread the word. We can clean the air. And we are learning more and more each year about why it is so important to do so–for our children’s health. It is so important for all parents to remember that while they might be able to buy things to control some of the indoor air problems, money cannot buy clean air. And when we open the doors and windows of our houses, we want to be able to breath deep! Many thanks for writing your book.

  • Thank you, Dominique! Yes, we do not live in a ‘bubble’, and air quality is a world-wide issue. Awareness is the first step for change, not to mention education and action! Best, NS

  • I joined The Force! Very excited about it.
    One of my twin sons, Tristin, had severe asthma from birth to age 5. I know now that it was related to the horrible air quality in my apartment building, as the building had a huge mold problem. Since I moved from that apartment 3 years ago, Tristin has had NO issues with asthma. Not one attack or respitory issue. Air quality is extremely important for us and our kids, I learned first-hand, and boy was it scary!

    Tiffany Casanova

  • Avon S.

    We joined the force 🙂

  • Eden B

    I signed up and also looked on facebook. Glad to have found this!

  • Having a 9 month old son, I’m fascinated that newborns can only breath out of their nose! As a new mom, it feels like most new moms spend most of their time worrying about their children’s breathing. I don’t consider myself to be a worrier or over protective, and yet I still check in on my son to make sure he’s breathing!

    So glad you liked the book. Thanks for being on the tour!

  • Katie Hughes

    I joined the moms clean air force!

  • I’ve joined the Moms Clean Air Force!

  • Jennifer Passman

    I joined! I am really excited to be a part of this. Such a great cause!

  • Thanks, Trish, for connecting me with MomsCleanAirForce and GroovyGreenLiving. What a great combination to feature a book about breathing in our kids! Hope you all enjoy. Here’s to easy (clean) breathing! NS

  • I signed up and I love sharing your information with Respiratory Therapists throughout South Carolina so they can pass it on to patients and their families! Thank you for all you do!

  • Haley

    I signed up for Moms Clean Air Force! Thank you!

  • Haley Cupp

    I signed up for Moms Clean Air Force!

  • I signed up for Moms Clean Air Force! Thanks for all you do!

  • Lamar and Ronnie Tyler

    I would love to enter the contest for this book…but don’t think I qualify…So I will have to purchase it. Our oldest son has asthma…and I am constantly (secretly) looking for symptoms in our 3 youngest girls. I need this book.

  • Tiffany E.

    I signed up for Mom’s Clean Air Force! Clean air is so important, as a mother or parent, we should not have to worry about the cleanleness of the air that we all breathe. Every breath taken should be clean and fresh!

  • I joined the Mom’s Clear Air Force. I want a clean future for my children. Would love to read this book.

  • I’m glad to see that you found this book to be a good resource for you! Thanks for being a part of the tour.

  • Berit

    I just signed up. Thanks for all you do and would love to get this book for my sister who just became a new MOM!

  • Leigh G

    Signed up and liked on Facebook. Would love to read this book!

  • Signed up some time ago. Too many of my students have asthma….something needs to be done!

  • Nancy

    I signed up a few days ago. Thanks for eveyone putting this movement in motion!

  • Natalie

    I signed up! I want my baby to breath easy…always! Thanks for moving this movement!!!

  • Thank you all for joining Moms Clean Air Force and thank you Lori for such a wonderful review of Dr. Nina Shapiro’s book.

    Drumroll, please…

    Nancy and Cecilia were chosen randomly and they each won a copy of Take A Deep Breath. Congratulations!

    • Congratulations to Nancy and Cecilia! And thanks all for your wonderful comments. Hope we can all start breathing a little easier! Best, NS