Asthma Among Women
Are we doing too good a job at protecting our
children from germs? The "hygiene theory" proposes that allergies and asthma
are increasing, in part, because children's immune systems are not being properly
primed through early exposure to infections.
Gillian Shepherd: "We may be...overly obsessive in the
US about making sure that our children are brought up in a spanking clean environment."
Dr Gillian Shepherd, of New York's Cornell University,
says childhood allergies are less common among children living in polluted areas...and
among those exposed to other children, such as in day care settings. Shepherd
says childhood vaccinations remain critically important...but otherwise, lighten
Gillian Shepherd: "...making sure that everything is
absolutely clean and you keep children in very sterile environments and you
keep them away from other kids who have routine infections...perhaps at this stage
we really don't have to be that vigilant."
Recent research suggests that giving pregnant women a common bacteria found
in yogurt...then giving it to the infants as well...may reduce children's risk of
developing allergies. For more information, click here.
Created: 9/18/2001  - Donnica Moore, M.D.