Good advice on keeping your home allergen-free! –
Pay special attention to bedrooms
You spend more time in your bedroom than in any other room in your house. Unfortunately, in many cases, this room is the most polluted and inviting for allergens like mold, pollen, animal dander, dust mites, and cockroaches. So clear out knickknacks and clutter, remove drapes, and avoid storing things under your bed. Also, keep your bed away from air vents, if you can, so you don’t breathe in dust that comes out of them as you sleep.Get bedding and pillows you can machine-wash, and avoid down pillows and comforters, which can’t be washed easily.In kids’ bedrooms, keep stuffed animals to a minimum—they are dust traps. If your kids can’t part with them, wash stuffed toys every so often to remove the dust. Use a damp cloth to wipe those that can’t be machine-washed, and dry them on your dryer’s hottest setting to kill dust mites.
Source: 19 Ways to Allergy-Proof Your Home
The breath test measured levels of nitric oxide, a marker of lung inflammation. In the study, half the participants were prescribed medication doses based on how the women assessed their own symptoms.
The other half kept track of how they felt, but they were also assessed more precisely using the breath test. Scientists do not know exactly why, but by tweaking the mother’s medication according to the breath test findings, they halved the incidence of asthma in the babies.
Source: Simple breath test during pregnancy could prevent asthma in babies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Yet another reason to move to the country! –
Many parents, quite reasonably, worry about germs and dirt finding their way into a child’s mouth. But many have also heard in recent years of the “hygiene hypothesis,” which holds that some exposure to germs and microorganisms in early childhood is actually good for us because it helps develop the immune system. A 2013 Swedish study, for example, showed that children whose parents just sucked their pacifiers clean had a lower risk of developing eczema.
When we talk about the hygiene hypothesis, the collection of theories that address the possible problems that can be associated with growing up less exposed to germs and dirt, we are essentially talking about growing up indoors. We’re talking about living in a world of relatively clean and controlled surfaces, where even small children who are constantly picking things up and putting them in their mouths are not going to come into contact with a very wide variety of exposures.
“The built environment is the place in which our children grow up,” said Jack Gilbert, the director of the Microbiome Center and a professor of surgery at the University of Chicago. He was one of the authors of a well-known 2016 study in The New England Journal of Medicine which compared the immune profiles of Amish children, growing up on small single-family farms, and Hutterite children, who are similar genetically but grow up on large, industrialized farms. The Amish, living in an environment described as “rich in microbes,” or alternatively, full of barnyard dust, had strikingly low rates of asthma.
Source: Too Clean for Our Children’s Good? – The New York Times
You are what you eat, quite literally, from birth! Why babies need natural exposure to their environment and keeping that as close to the real thing as possible is the best thing for them –
Researchers have found a connection between the hundreds of microbe species in a baby’s gut and allergy risk. Variations in just four kinds of bacteria—Bifidobacteria, Lactobacillus, Faecalibacterium, and Akkermansi—heightened the risk of allergies and asthma, researchers led by Dr. Lynch at UCSF and her colleagues at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit reported in September in Nature Medicine. They tracked 298 children from birth through early childhood and documented the relationship between the fledgling microbiome and chronic ailments.
Infants with the lowest levels of critical gut bacteria at the age of one month—who were mostly boys—were more likely to be allergy-prone by their second birthday. They were more likely to show signs of asthma by the time they reached the age of 4 years, the researchers said.
Source: Study Sees Link Between Allergies and the Infant Gut – WSJ
More on the gut-allergy connection, and why environment plays such a big part in allergies –
Asthma and allergies in children could be prevented by altering the type of microbes inside their gut as babies, researchers have suggested.
The team found that a particular pattern of gut microbes in babies just a month old was linked to an increased risk of them developing asthma and allergic reactions as they grew up.
“Early-life intervention may be a strategy by which we can offset allergic asthma in perhaps a portion of the population,” said Susan Lynch, co-author of the research from the University of California, San Francisco, adding that such interventions could include supplementing young babies with a cocktail of bacteria and other microbes lacking in their gut.
According to Asthma UK, the UK has one of the highest rates of asthma symptoms in children in the world, with one in 11 currently receiving treatment for the condition. While the disease can be managed, there is currently no cure.
Source: Altering gut microbes of babies could prevent asthma and allergies | Society | The Guardian