Kids, Preschool and Remission

Two online articles I’ve read recently highlight some of the larger questions surrounding childhood asthma, its causes, and its outcomes.

The first one appears to debunk a popular theory that preschool, which exposes kids to lots of contagious illness at an early age, may help protect children from the over-active immune response involved with asthma and/or allergies.

Instead, this Dutch study of 4,000 kids over 8 years found no such protective effect, although preschool for young kids did appear to bring asthma symptoms on earlier than they maybe would’ve appeared otherwise. Which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t work or put your kids in preschool if they’re already at risk for asthma, of course. The research does, however, suggest avoiding daycare for the express purpose of prevention.

This next bit from WebMD reviews the current thinking on outgrowing asthma.

I’ve written here before that boys are more likely to outgrow asthma symptoms than girls, but this article goes into a little more depth. The mostly likely candidates for outgrowing the respiratory problems, it says, are kids who only flare during illness, who don’t have allergies and/or eczema, whose severity goes down after age five. If remission of symptoms is possible, though, the tendency to flare probably always remains.

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