Study Links Secondhand Smoke to Food Allergies in Children
A well-established risk factor for childhood asthma, secondhand smoke is suspected to contribute to a broad spectrum of ailments. Now, a new study appears to have drawn a link between secondhand smoke exposure and pediatric food-related symptoms.
Researchers estimate that nearly 15 million Americans have some sort of food allergy, including around six million children. While genetics play a key role, Swedish researchers have uncovered evidence that a specific environmental factor could also be a factor.
Presented at the annual meeting for the 2017 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the study followed approximately 3,700 children as they grew to 16 years in age. After testing the children and surveying their parents, the researchers determined that infants were much more likely to develop food-related symptoms as they aged when they lived in homes with secondhand smoke.
Limiting Your Child’s Exposure
Obviously, the best way to limit your child’s exposure to secondhand smoke is to give up tobacco altogether. If you choose to continue smoking, however, you can limit exposure through the following methods:
• Make your home and car smoke-free
• Keep kids away from public areas where smoking is allowed
• Change your clothing and shower after smoking.
Getting Real About Secondhand Smoke
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 2,500,000 nonsmokers have died in the past 60 years from health problems caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. At the same time, countless people live with long-term issues related to secondhand smoke exposure during childhood.
Quitting smoking is no easy endeavor. When it comes to protecting your child’s health, however, no sacrifice is too great. If you’re having trouble ditching tobacco, talk to your doctor about modern techniques, such as patches, gum and medications, which can make the process much easier.