Tobacco smoke a major risk factor for infant allergic rhintis

Household moulds are the most likely cause of allergic rhinitis in young children, but recent research suggests that it is tobacco smoke that is more important. Allergic rhinitis is what most of us know as hay fever, this manifesting as a blocked and runny nose and sneezing. The study looked at the effects of environmental pollutants and indoor exposure to things such as tobacco smoke, pets, visible mould, siblings and the day-care environment in over 600 children aged less than 0ne year. Researchers found that children exposed to 20 or more cigarettes a day were three times more likely to suffer from allergic rhinitis before their first birthday than children who were not exposed to tobacco smoke at all.

This is yet another study that shows how important it is for parents to eliminate tobacco smoke from their homes. While household mould did not contribute to allergic rhinitis, it did apparently, increase a child’s risk of ear infections. The same study showed that infants with older siblings are less likely to have allergic rhinitis. This ties in with research that shows that exposure to certain infection early in life decrease the chance of developing allergies.

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