7 Surprising Facts About Asthma

SURPRISING FACT #6

Even if your child has only mild asthma, you shouldn't let your guard down.

Allergic triggers can lead to serious asthma attacks in children who've previously had only mild asthma, according to new research from Connecticut Children's Medical Center, in Hartford. Once a child has developed asthma, upper-respiratory viruses and allergies are among the most common triggers of symptoms, which is why some doctors recommend that kids with asthma be tested for allergies by age 5. Exercise, cold air, and exposure to smoke and irritants such as cleaning products can also bring on symptoms of asthma. So can emotional anxiety, certain medications (such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen), or foods containing sulfites (like packaged baked goods, jams, dried fruit, and canned vegetables). Even low blood levels of vitamin D are associated with lower lung function in children, according to research from National Jewish Health in Denver. But don't worry that everything under the sun could spark symptoms for your child; some kids are just especially sensitive to certain triggers.

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