Thursday, January 7, 2016

How Can You Help Your Child Avoid Asthma?

The BBC recently reported that, in a large Swedish study, children were less likely to suffer with asthma by the age of seven, if they were exposed to dogs and cats during their first year of life.  The researchers tracked 650,000 children and found that the risk was lowered by 13%. The effect was even greater if they lived on a farm and were exposed to even more animals. 

However, a high percentage of asthmatic children are allergic to pet dander and acquiring a pet will not help desensitize them, but could make them worse. If you do have a pet, the following may help your asthmatic or allergic child:
  • Try to keep pets out of your bedroom and where possible living area
  • Regular grooming and bathing of cats and dogs can help
  • You could try using air filters and an efficient vacuum cleaner. This might be helpful for people who have cat allergies; however the evidence on the benefit of these remains unclear
  • No breed of dog is completely "non-allergic" because they all shed dander
The study just adds more evidence that having a pet can be good for the entire family. 

BBC news: