Winter colds may increase asthma symptoms in children

November 14th, 2007 - 2:59 am ICT by admin  
Asthma sufferers often have spikes in asthma symptoms following respiratory symptoms associated with colds and flu, which is the primary reason for increased asthma episodes in winter.

The higher incidence of respiratory illness during the cold season implies that the time period would be doubly hard for those with asthma because colds, flu and other infections like pneumonia could trigger symptoms.

The study led by James W. Stout, MD, MPH, of Seattle Children’s Hospital Research Institute targeted the metropolitan area as part of the study.

The analysis of the study found that children-of-colour, those who live in the inner city, and those from lower-income families in both urban and rural areas were at greater risk for developing asthma.

“In winter we definitely see increases in emergency visits, hospital admissions and children with more severe asthma,” Stout said.

“The number one reason for hospital asthma admissions is colds, even among those with allergy-mediated asthma. But there are things families can do to help children with asthma get through this time of year.

“Diligent hand-washing to help prevent colds and keeping air in the home as clean as possible goes a long way. It’s also important to lessen the particular allergens that are triggers for each child,” he added.

The study also found that changes in the home environment could produce reduction in symptoms comparable to that achieved with asthma medications.

The study has provided few tips to help keep one’s home ‘asthma-proof’, which includes- keeping children away from second-hand tobacco smoke, using of only clean-burning candles, avoiding bedding or pillows stuffed with down, feathers or foam rubber.

Washing beddings once a week in hot water, keeping pets out of child’s room and keeping the kid’s medicines including asthma inhalers on hand and up-to-date, could also help keep home free from asthma.

The study is published in the New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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