Asthma risk for young children

March 19, 2008

Two new studies on asthma make for interesting reading, particularly if you have young children. At a recent meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology it was reported that nearly 90% of children who wheezed when they had a cold as early as just one year old, went on to be diagnosed with asthma by the time they were six.

Daniel J. Jackson, M.D., of the University of Wisconsin had studied a group of children from birth to age six and his findings were based on this group, he was at pains to point out that as there is no treatment to prevent common cold infections or asthma, but it will be helpful for parents to be aware of the higher risk their for developing asthma and to be alert for the symptoms so they can take early action.

September and October, as well as March and April, are the primary months for such infections and it is suggested that if you have a child in the first year of life who is wheezing in these months then both the parents and the doctor need to keep a close eye on the child during those periods.

Of course this is not the only risk factor, other significant predictors of asthma included having a dog in the house at the child’s birth, other children in the family with asthma, and showing sensitivity to airborne allergens. Also, according to the National Institute of Environmental Health Science in the USA, the problem of asthma can be made worse if you have mice in the house. Almost 83% of the homes studied were found to have mouse allergens, principally from urine, and one third of those homes were found to have a 50% greater risk of having a family member with asthma.

Again prevention is the best plan, so if you have an asthmatic child or adult it is worth making sure that your home is mouse free to minimise potential allergens. Unfortunately it appears that having a cat is no deterrent as levels were just as high in households with cats as without. What are they doing to earn their daily bowl of Whiskas?


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