Childhood asthma can be prevented by keeping homes free of dust mites

Heart Care Foundation of India, Medicine, Social Health Community Comments Off

The condition can even develop in children below 3 years

New Delhi, 31 March 2019: A new study has found that consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is linked to fewer childhood asthma symptoms which are triggered by indoor air pollution. The study lays out that families and health care providers may be able to protect children from harmful effects of indoor air pollution by serving a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids while reducing foods rich in omega-6 fatty acids such as soya bean oil and corn oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found abundantly in fish and certain nuts and seeds, are considered healthy as they are known to reduce inflammation. Omega-6 fatty acids, primarily found in vegetable oils (including corn, soybean, safflower, and sunflower), as came out in other studies, have mixed effects on health, but have the potential to promote inflammation.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Asthma is a disorder caused by inflammation in the airways (called bronchi) that lead to the lungs. This inflammation causes airways to tighten and narrow, which blocks air from flowing freely into the lungs, making it hard to breathe. There is no specific reason for the development of asthma in children. However, there are several triggers such as dust, air pollution, and exposure to secondhand smoke. Pediatric asthma is one of the major reasons for absenteeism from school. In most children, asthma develops before 5 years of age, and in more than half, asthma develops before 3 years of age.”

Some symptoms of asthma in children include wheezing (whistling sound) when breathing, coughing, rapid and labored breathing, complaints of chest hurting, reduced energy, and feeling weak or tired.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Diagnosing asthma in children can be difficult and time-consuming. This is because of the pattern of symptoms. It is possible to prevent flare ups by making changes to the child’s diet as also avoiding exposure to environmental pollutants as far as possible. The goals of asthma therapy are to prevent children from having chronic and troublesome symptoms and reduce the need for emergency hospitalization.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Prevent exposure to dust mites. These are tiny insects and one of the most common asthma triggers. They tend to live in beds, carpeting, upholstered furniture and soft toys. It is important to keep all these things dust free.
  • Restrict the child’s contact with pets especially if he/she is allergic.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and encourage good eating habits. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet.
  • Avoid exposure to smoke. Expectant mothers should quit smoking altogether as this is one of the major risk factors for development of asthma in children.
  • Breastfeed your infant. This will increase immunity and help ward off potential complications.

Easy availability of unhealthy snacks and obesity are a double whammy for children today

Uncategorized Comments Off

India home to the highest number of obese children in the world after China

New Delhi, 30 March 2019: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for tighter monitoring of digital marketing of unhealthy food products, especially those high in salt, sugar and fat, and alcohol and tobacco. In a recent report, the WHO/Europe observes that while data on the digital lives of children are scarce, the time children spend online, including on social media, has grown steadily. There is therefore an increased risk of children’s exposure to digital marketing.

The WHO has urged countries worldwide to expedite the development and implementation of a set of tools for monitoring children’s exposure to digital marketing. Monitoring the online advertising of unhealthy products to children is critical since heart disease, cancer, obesity and chronic respiratory disease are linked to smoking, alcohol abuse and the consumption of unhealthy food products.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Childhood obesity is a reality today with two of the biggest contributing factors being imbalanced diet and sedentary lifestyle. More than 30% people of the society including children have potbelly abdominal obesity. Most children eat out at least once or twice a week and have an electronic device at hand while eating. While there is awareness among parents on the situation, not much is being done to counter the problem. Elders should model the behavior they want children to follow and therefore, the changes begin with them. A healthy childhood is the only foundation for a healthy life ahead.”

Statistics indicate that India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China. About 14.4 million children in the country are overweight as per findings.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “It is good to follow the concept of natural fast food which is the best. Some examples include bananas, orange, dry fruits, and milk. These have no side effects but only help in keeping the system healthy. Schools can act as the agents of change given that children spend a significant amount of time in the institutions. The importance of a good diet should be taught here, and children should be encouraged to adopt the same at home as well.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Encourage healthy eating habits right at the onset.
  • Try making favorite dishes healthier. Few changes can make even snacks healthier.
  • Avoid tempting children with calorie-rich food. It is okay to treat them but in moderation and by limiting high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks.
  • Make kids understand the importance of being physically active.
  • Lead by example. Indulge in at least 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every day.
  • Reduce sedentary time. While reading is a good option, too much of screen time is not.
  • Replace screen time with the outdoors and fun activities to keep children engaged.

Prevention before antibiotic use should be practiced; say no to irrational use

Uncategorized Comments Off

Many bacteria have already developed resistance to wonder drugs

New Delhi, 29 March 2019: The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections is seen more likely in populations with a high prevalence of AIDS-immunocompromised people, reveals new research. People with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to opportunistic bacterial infections and are therefore frequently prescribed antibiotics to prevent or treat these infections. The study’s findings will help public health policymakers to combat the rising risk of drug-resistant infections in AIDS-affected communities.

A report published by the New Delhi-based Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy (CDDEP) in November 2017 says that over 70% of Acinetobacterbaumannii bacteria and 50% of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria are resistant to broad-spectrum antibiotics like third generation cephalosporin. Broad-spectrum antibiotics are those that are effective against a wide range of disease-causing bacteria.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee, Dr KK Aggarwal, President, HCFI, said, “Many bacteria have developed resistance to the so-called ‘wonder drugs’ reducing their effectiveness. The emergence of resistance to antibiotics was perhaps a development ‘waiting to happen’ given their indiscriminate use since they were first discovered. With no new antibiotics in the pipeline, a ‘pre-antibiotic era’ looms ahead, where many common infections might no longer have a cure and, once again, become a threat to human life. When prescribed for conditions that may not require antibiotic treatment at all, they can cause various side effects including disturbance to attention span, disorientation, agitation, nervousness, memory impairment, and delirium. Misuse and overuse of antibiotics have made once easily treatable bacterial infections harder and often impossible to cure. This phenomenon is on the rise due to their inappropriate use in human medicine.”

Schedule H1 drugs, along with Schedule H and Schedule X drugs, are restricted drugs and cannot be sold to just anybody OTC. A valid prescription from a doctor of modern system of medicine is required before they can be dispensed to the patients.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, who is also the Group Editor-in-Chief of IJCP, said, “Improving and adhering to diagnostic tests for various diseases will help curb the inappropriate use of antibiotics, which compromises measures to control antimicrobial resistance. The imminent need of the hour is to address this issue.”

Some tips from HCFI

  • Practice rational use of drugs antibiotics
  • Use when needed and according to guidelines
  • Avoid broad spectrum antibiotics without appropriate diagnosis
  • Prevent infections with the use of vaccination and by improving basic hygiene including hand hygiene and infection control techniques and sanitation in health care settings as well as in the community

·     Farmers and food industry must stop using antibiotics routinely to promote growth and prevent disease in healthy animals to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.

« Previous Entries