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Protecting the little lungs: The urgent need to address Asthma in children

  • World Asthma Day is observed on the first Tuesday of May every year. This year it falls on May 2
  • Air pollution is a significant problem in India, and it's triggering asthma symptoms in children
  • Preventive measures, including reducing air pollution levels and proper medical care, can protect children from the harmful effects of air pollution and asthma

02 May 2023

As the world observes World Asthma Day, it is important to understand the impact of air pollution on children's health and why asthma is a growing concern in India. Here's a closer look at the topic:

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the airways of the lungs. In people with asthma, the airways become inflamed, making it difficult to breathe. Common asthma symptoms include wheezing, coughing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath.

Why is Asthma a Growing Concern in India?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects millions of children worldwide. In India, air pollution is a major trigger for asthma symptoms in children. The country has some of the highest levels of air pollution in the world, with cities like Delhi and Mumbai being particularly affected. Industrial emissions, vehicular traffic, and the burning of fossil fuels are the primary sources of air pollution in India, and when these pollutants enter the air, they can irritate the airways of children and trigger asthma symptoms.

The Impact of Air Pollution on Children's Health

Studies have shown that exposure to air pollution increases the risk of developing asthma in children. According to a Lancet study, air pollution is responsible for around 17% of asthma cases in children worldwide. In India, where air pollution levels are high, this number is likely to be even higher. Air pollution can also exacerbate existing asthma symptoms in children, leading to an increase in asthma attacks, hospitalizations, and even death.

Why is Taking Care of Asthma Important?

Asthma is a chronic condition, and if not properly managed, it can lead to severe complications, including hospitalization and even death. Here are some reasons why taking care of asthma is so important:

  1. Improved quality of life: Proper asthma care can help reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life for people with asthma.

  2. Prevention of complications: Proper asthma management can help prevent severe complications, such as hospitalization and even death.

  3. Lower healthcare costs: Adequate asthma care can help reduce healthcare costs associated with managing severe asthma attacks.

Prevention and Management of Asthma in Children

Children are especially vulnerable to asthma and its complications. Preventing and managing asthma in children requires specific attention and care. Here are some ways to prevent and manage asthma in children:

  1. Encourage healthy habits: Encourage children to eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep.

  2. Avoid exposure to asthma triggers: Identify and avoid triggers that can cause asthma symptoms in children, such as dust, pet dander, and pollution.

  3. Proper medication management: Children with asthma should receive proper medication management to reduce symptoms and prevent complications.

In conclusion, asthma is a growing concern in India, and air pollution is one of the primary triggers for the disease in children. With the right preventive measures and care, we can protect our children's health and ensure that they have a better quality of life.


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