Posts Tagged ‘asthma’

Cleaner air helps children breathe easier

Friday, March 6th, 2009

barn-smallAir pollution can lead to inflamed airways, which can cause breathing problems such as asthma.

It makes  sense:  When the air is cleaner, children breathe easier. An article in the March issue of the medical journal Pediatrics reported these research results.

So what can parents do to help their children breathe the cleanest air possible? Moving to the country where the air is clean is a good idea. But that’s probably hard for most of us!

Here are some tips:

* When local health agencies issue air pollution or smog alerts, keep your child indoors. If you must take your baby out on these days, do so early in the morning or after sunset.

* Don’t use paint sprayers around your child.

* Keep air conditioning units, heaters, furnaces, wood stoves and fireplaces in good working order.

* If your baby has asthma or other lung problems, ask her health care provider what else you can do.

For more ideas, read the March of Dimes article Protecting Your Baby from Air Pollution.

Children most vulnerable to secondhand smoke

Friday, December 19th, 2008

Nearly half of all children in the United States are exposed to secondhand smoke each week, according to a new survey by three prominent institutions.  Even though we have come a long way in reducing second hand smoke over the past decade, the Social Climate Survey of Tobacco found that 4 out of every 10 children are exposed to secondhand smoke each week.

We have the power to make changes that protect our children and it certainly is within our children’s best interests to eliminate secondhand smoke exposure.  Babies who are exposed to smoke suffer from more lower-respiratory illnesses (such as bronchitis and pneumonia) and ear infections than do other babies. Babies who are exposed to their parents’ smoke after birth also may face an increased risk of asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). And the danger starts even before a child is born.  Studies suggest that babies of women who are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke during pregnancy may have reduced growth and may be more likely to be born with low birthweight.  Pregnant women should avoid exposure to other people’s smoke.

Various studies have concluded that secondhand smoke is just as dangerous as cigarette smoking.   If you’re a smoker, visit this site and try making quitting your New Year’s resolution.

Asthma medications in the news

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Some Inhalers Will Be Phased Out
Certain asthma inhalers will no longer be available after December 31. Some old-style inhalers use chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs damage the environment by destroying the ozone layer.

New inhalers are better for the environment. The new devices work differently and will cost more. Because they are brand-name drugs, not generics, the price will be higher.

So if you or your children use an asthma inhaler, talk with your health care provider and your insurance company.

Serevent and Foradil Not Recommended for Children
An FDA advisory committee has recommended that children not use two asthma drugs Serevent and Foradil, according to The New York Times. These drugs may increase the risk of death if they are not used with a steroid. The FDA is considering the committee’s recommendation before making an official ruling. If you have questions about these two drugs, talk to your health care provider.

Rain, rain, go away!

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

The last few weeks, I feel like I have been living in a sponge.  Now after all the rain we have had, my husband and I are on the lookout for mold.  Mold is something that exists everywhere there is moisture.  We can’t get away from it, but we can try to clean it out of our homes for a safer living environment.  Read more about protecting your baby from mold.

Mold growth often looks like spots. It can be many different colors, including green and grey, and it can smell musty. If you can see or smell mold somewhere in your home, there may be a health risk to you and your children.

Some people are bothered more by mold than others. A baby who is sensitive to mold may have:
• A runny nose
• A scratchy throat
• Sneezing
• Coughing
• Red or itchy eyes
• A skin rash
Sometimes reactions can be more serious. Mold can cause asthma attacks. Babies who have serious lung problems are at greater risk than other babies.

With all the horrendous storms that have been pounding down across the United States, rain has become an enemy to many communities.  Once the floodwaters subside, mold is something we really need to guard against.  The EPA says if you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA’s guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system to help dry the place out if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold – it could spread mold throughout the building.  Here is where you can read more about flood cleanup.