Finally in the news for nurses this week is a look at kids with asthma and the risk factors they live with, in their homes every day. I found this article over at Reuters.com and it talks about kids with asthma who live with smokers and the additional breathing difficulties they face.
Broad Asthma Study of Children of Smokers
The folks at the Mayo Clinic looked at 25 studies of more than 400,000 kids with asthma. They found that the children exposed to second-hand smoke in the home regularly were more likely to have major episodes of breathing difficulties. This translated to 66% more likely to be going to the ER and 85% more likely to end up being admitted to the hospital than those who lived in non-smoking homes.
These at-risk kids were also three times more likely to have significant reduction in lung function, too. The authors of the study hope that with this evidence of the risks for kids with asthma in the homes of smokers, that the adults in the homes will quit smoking or stop smoking in the home around the kids. If they do, there is every reason to believe that the symptoms for their children will lessen over time and they’ll have improved lung function.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 230 million people around the world suffer from asthma. Childhood asthma has been linked to exposure to second-hand smoke, air pollution, and certain infections at a young age. While air pollution levels are a larger public health issue that parents have little control over, the presence of smoking in the home is a modifiable risk factor to reduce the onset and exacerbation of asthma in kids.
Spread the word about this to the parents you encounter who smoke and offer them solutions to help them quit or help them plan to not smoke in the home. It can make a big difference.
Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Genetics, Breast Cancer and Nursing Show Episode 363.