Asthma in Children
While there is no certain way to prevent asthma, experts continue to look at things that may reduce a child's chance of getting asthma.
Irritants in the air
Common irritants in the air, such as tobacco smoke and air pollution, can cause asthma symptoms in some children.
Controlling tobacco smoke is important because it is a major cause of asthma symptoms in children and adults. If your child has asthma, try to avoid being around others who are smoking. And ask people not to smoke in your house.
- Pregnant women who smoke cigarettes during pregnancy increase the risk for wheezing in their newborn babies.
- Exposing young children to secondhand tobacco smoke makes it more likely that the children will develop asthma and makes symptoms more severe if the children already have the disease.
Consider keeping your child inside when air pollution levels are high. Other irritants in the air (such as fumes from gas, oil, or kerosene, or wood-burning stoves) can sometimes irritate the bronchial tubes. Avoiding these may reduce asthma symptoms.
No one is sure if breast-feeding affects a child's risk of getting asthma.
- Some studies show that breast-feeding protects a child from getting asthma.Reference 13, Reference 14
- Other studies show that breast-feeding, especially when mothers with asthma breast-feed, may increase a child's risk of getting asthma.Reference 15
- Two large studies found that breast-feeding had no effect on the development of asthma.Reference 16, Reference 17
Mothers are still encouraged to breast-feed their children for all the other proven health benefits that come from breast-feeding.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference November 8, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine