Exposure To Second-Hand Smoke And Childhood Asthma
Childhood asthma is a condition that many children experience. Children who have asthma look normal and healthy, but they may limited in their ability to participate in physical education classes while in school and avoid strenuous extracurricular activities. Medical professionals have spent years trying to understand why children have asthma. Fortunately, new research has provided a better understanding of why some kids have asthma.
Recent evidence has pointed out that smoke exposure and asthma can go hand in hand. Specifically, there is a strong genetic basis for second-hand smoke exposure and the development of asthma in some children.
For a better understanding, consider a mother and her unborn baby. As the baby develops in the womb, he or she eats and drinks everything that the mother does. Not only that, but the baby is exposed to the same carcinogens that the mother is when someone around her smokes (and especially if the mother smokes). These carcinogens can cause changes within the body of an unborn baby, particularly chromosome 18. The impact of toxins on this chromosome can play a significant factor in the child developing asthma.
Chromosome 6 is also affected by exposure to tobacco smoke. The body usually does a good job of clearing mucus from the airways, but smoke can reduce the effectiveness of this protective mechanism. In fact, asthma can become worse due to the inability to get rid of mucus.
Preventing asthma is a goal that all parents should consider. A mother who is pregnant should definitely abstain from smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke as much as possible. This is also true after a baby has been born; children who live in homes and visit places that are free from tobacco have a much better chance of not developing asthma.
Parents and guardians need to be that these exposures adversely affect kids so that they can take steps to prevent it in their own children. As further breakthroughs continue, people will be better prepared to protect children from these harmful exposures.
If you need additional information or would like to schedule an appointment with one of our expert physician’s please call Asthma & Allergy Associates at any of our three asthma and allergy clinic locations today!