Can Pets help your Children’s Asthma?

Can Pets help your Children’s Asthma?

Asthma is a common condition that affects the airways, and in the UK over 1.1 million children have asthma, according to NHS choices. Children who have asthma may suffer with allergies to dust, grass, pollen, animal fur and as well as many other triggers. The cause of asthma is not completely known, although it is often more likely to affect your child if both you and your partner have also suffered with asthma.

If your child does suffer with Asthma it may be quite unpleasant for them, as it makes it difficult to breathe and may make them short of breath as well as wheezing and coughing.

There is no cure for asthma yet but there are treatments than could help your child to control it, such as inhalers and vaccinations to reduce respiratory infections. But is it possible to reduce your child’s asthma by having a pet? The Cheapest Life Insurance investigates…

New research has recently suggested that having a dog in your family home could prevent your children from developing allergies, asthma included. Mice that are exposed to dogs have different gut microbes and react less strongly to allergens, according to experts. These were the results from studies of mice that were challenged with different allergens.  This could explain the reduced risk among children that have been raised with dogs from birth, although it has not proven yet. Professor Susan Lynch from the University of California at San Francisco has said that they are currently examining these using human samples.

So although it is not proven that having a pet or dog can reduce the effects of Asthma in children we thought that we would take a look at how you and your children could still live happily with pets and reduce the risk of an asthma attack, according to everyday health.

  1. Vacuum frequently to control dust and hair within your home.
  2. Groom your pet frequently to get rid of excess hair that may float around the house.
  3. “Liquid dosing” for cats could reduce proteins within cat saliva that are responsible for some cat allergies. However, the result of how affective doing this is varies depending on your child’s exact allergies.
  4. Restrict letting your pets entering your child’s bedroom or playroom so that these places can stay allergy free for them.
  5. Finally wash bedding frequently to ensure that your children are dust mite and bed bug free so that they can rest easy at night time.

If none of this works Asthma UK suggests speaking to your doctor or nurse as your child’s medication may need to be adjusted to make sure that their asthma is as well controlled as possible, or the doctor/nurse may recommend it would be better to have a pet free home.


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