Asthma can be a life threatening condition for kids if it is not handled carefully. The quality of air which kids with asthma are exposed to has a great influence on their condition. Mayo Clinic reported on Sept. 24, 2015, kids suffering from asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke are hospitalized twice as often. It is clear that kids suffering from asthma will have a much better chance of doing well if they are exposed to fresh air which is not polluted with smoke.
According to a study which was led by Mayo Clinic Children’s Research Center children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have two times the risk for hospitalization. Avni Joshi, M.D., senior author and pediatric allergist at Mayo Clinic Children’s Center, says the results from this study should help parents remember that it is dangerous to expose their kids to secondhand smoke. A kid is actually twice as likely to be hospitalized with a flare up of asthma if family members smoke.
Previous studies have shown an association between secondhand smoke exposure and increased prevalence of asthma, poorer control of asthma and increased symptoms. This association is strengthened by this new research. There were 25 studies and greater than 430,000 children with a mean age of 7.6 years included in this review. This creates an increased burden for the health care system, children and their families. When the kids are hospitalized they miss school and their parents may miss work. Furthermore there is a high risk of a hospital-acquired infection in kids who are in the hospital.
Dr. Joshi says parents who smoke should try particularly hard to quit if their kids suffer from asthma. In view of how difficult it is to quit smoking Dr. Joshi’s team worked with the Nicotine Dependence Center and the Center for Innovation at Mayo to create a program which helps families kick the smoking habit. Nicotine counseling and nicotine replacement supplies are offered for free to family members with kids who have asthma. The child’s needs are the focus of this program.
This study has been published in the journal Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Exposure to secondhand smoke is known to trigger asthma attacks. Furthermore kids with asthma who are exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to suffer from comorbid conditions such as more severe asthma and obesity than other kids. Parents should make every effort to stop smoking if their kids have asthma and offer them the opportunity to be exposed to fresh air as often as possible. This is no joking matter. The lives of kids with asthma could depend on this.