|Allergy and Asthma
Southwestern United States
||Information for patients with allergy and related
in the Southwest
Seasonal advice, treatment and prevention
Preventing asthma and allergies in children
Parents should never smoke anywhere in the home or in any car in which children may be transported. Smoking should also be prohibited in baby sitting or other day care arrangements. There is absolute proof of a link between exposure of children to tobacco smoke and cough, wheezing and respiratory infections. Pregnant women should not smoke at any time because of adverse effects on the foetus.
Avoidance of airborne allergens in the home
Avoidance of these allergens in infancy and early childhood
will not prevent the ultimate development of allergic disease in predisposed children.
However, house dust mites, animal dander and mold exposure should be controlled to
reduce symptoms caused by them in children who already have allergy and asthma. See
specific suggestions for doing
Diet and breast feeding
Although there is no evidence that avoidance of foods that cause allergy will prevent the eventual development of allergic diseases including asthma, avoidance of some foods combined with avoidance of tobacco smoke and control of airborne allergens in the home can delay the onset of allergic disease. Breast feeding is preferable to formula feeding for several reasons and should be continued for as long as possible, because breast feeding helps the baby's immune system to develop properly, and reduces risk of infections in the baby. Exclusive breast feeding without formula supplementation for at least 4 months can reduce the risk of development of wheezing in infancy, regardless of the presence of maternal allergy or asthma.
Parental allergy and infant feeding
If the mother has allergies or asthma, and particularly if both parents have allergies, there is an increased risk of the child developing allergies. The first allergies developed in allergic children are to food. There is evidence that intact food protein can be transmitted to the baby through breast milk, suggesting the possibility of sensitization of the baby to the transmitted food protein. Although it is sometimes recommended that allergic mothers should avoid cow's milk and other dairy products, egg, peanut, and soy products during breast feeding, there is no firm evidence that would require these restrictions for all infants with a family history of allergy. Solid food may be introduced at 4 to 6 months of age, without increasing the risk for respiratory allergy or the risk of becoming sensitized to foods later, but there is still a possibility that early introduction of solid food may increase the risk of development of eczema. If supplementation with formula is needed during breast feeding, only the prescribed hypoallergenic formula should be used.
New advances in prevention of asthma and allergy in children
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