Protecting Kids Against Asthma Attacks

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A research by the University of Otago in Wellington and Christchurch demonstrates that breastfeeding your infant has a direct protective impact against the children progressing asthma or wheezing up to the age of six years. A long debate took place over the issue in the scientific literature. The updated study of 1105 babies in Wellington and Christchurch over a period of six years shows that breastfeeding has a protective influence on the progress of asthma in young kids. The research team questioned about breastfeeding and pooled information on asthma and wheezing in kids of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 years old.

The National Library of Medicine explains that “asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways – the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs – to become sore and swollen. In the United States, about 20 million people have asthma. Nearly 9 million of them are children. Children have smaller airways than adults, which makes asthma especially serious for them. Children with asthma may experience wheezing, coughing, chest tightness and trouble breathing, especially early in the morning or at night.”

When asthma symptoms become worse than usual, it is called an asthma attack. Asthma is treated with two kinds of medicines: quick-relief medicines to stop asthma symptoms and long-term control medicines to prevent symptoms.

The protective impact against the progress of asthma is much stronger in those kids who are atopic symbolizing the kids who suffer from allergies and are henceforth more vulnerable. Breastfeeding for continuous three months to this atopic sub group condensed the present asthma at age of 6 years by 59%, thereby reducing their risk to that of the non atopic subgroup. The results are convincing and robust and sustain a global public health message to breastfeed their children to prevent them against asthma.  If every infant is given breastfeeding for minimum 6 months, there is a great possibility that current asthma rates would fall down.

Dr. Karen Silver says that the evidences are specifically very strong for breastfeeding in infants as being protective against the disease asthma. The reports show a waning of influence of breastfeeding after the age of four years. And this is to be expected as kids are exposed to many other risk factors for wheezing and asthma as they age. It is remarkable that breastfeeding protects the kids against the diseases. Dr. Silver says that the research is convincing regarding the merits of breastfeeding for the child as well as the mother. The study was financed by Health Research Council and is published in the periodical of Pediatrics.



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