HealthWatch: Maternal Alcohol Intake & Asthma Rates Among Children
28
August

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , , , , , /


ON THE HEALTH WATCH TONIGHT, MORE KIDS HAVE PROBLEMS TIED TO FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME THAN RESEARCHERS PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT. FOR DECADES PREGNANT WOMEN HAVE BEEN TOLD DO NOT DRINK. RESEARCHERS EXAMINED MORE THAN 6,000 1ST GRADERS IN FOUR COMMUNITIES ACROSS THE U.S. AND ASKED THEIR MOMS WHETHER THEY DRANK ALCOHOL WHILE PREGNANT. FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER AFFECTS BETWEEN 1% AND 5% OF CHILDREN. DR. MALLIKA MARSHALL IS HERE. THAT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF KIDS. THAT MIGHT BE AN UNDERESTIMATE. IT MIGHT BE CLOSER TO 10% IN SOME COMMUNITIES. FETAL ALCOHOL SPECTRUM DISORDER CAN CAUSE A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS. IT CAN CAUSE ATYPICAL FACIAL FEATURES, BEHAVORIAL ISSUES, LEARNING DIFFICULTIES, GROWTH PROBLEMS. IN SOME CASES IT CAN BE QUITE SEVERE. 10% OF PREGNANT MOMS ADMIT THEY’VE BEEN DRINKING ALCOHOL. MAYBE NOT A LOT. BUT UNFORTUNATELY I THINK THERE’S SORT OF THIS TREND AMONG WOMEN TO THINK, A LITTLE GLASS OF WINE HERE AND THERE. YOU’VE HEARD IT. UNFORTUNATELY WE DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH ALCOHOL COULD POSSIBLY AFFECT THE FETUS. YOU REALLY NEED TO ABSTAIN COMPLETELY. THE CDC HAS GONE AS FAR AS TO SAY THAT WOMEN OF REPRODUCTIVE AGE NOT USING BIRTH CONTROL SHOULDN’T DRINK AT ALL. 50% OF PREGNANCIES IN THE U.S. ARE UNPLANNED. I DO SAY THE OCCASIONAL MOM-TO-BE SAY DOCTORS SAY IT’S OKAY TO HAVE ONE. YOU SAY NO. NO. NOT OKAY. ASTHMA RATES AMONG CHILDREN IN THE U.S. ARE DROPPING. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. ACCORDING TO THE CDC, THE PERCENTAGE OF CHILDREN WITH ASTHMA FELL 8% FROM 2010-2016. HOSPITALIZATIONS WERE CUT IN HALF OVER A DECADE. SOUNDS LIKE GREAT NEWS. IT IS GOOD NEWS. ASTHMA AFFECTS A LOT OF KIDS. IT’S THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF CHRONIC ILLNESS IN CHILDREN. TO SEE THE RATES DECLINING IS GOOD. THAT MEANS LESS MISSED DAYS AT SCHOOL. FEWER KIDS HAVING TO DEAL WITH A CHRONIC ILLNESS. THAT SAID, IN 2016, HALF OF KIDS WITH ASTHMA STILL HAD ASTHMA ATTACKS. WE STILL HAVE A LOT OF WORK TO DO. WE NEED TO CONTINUE TO EDUCATE PARENTS ABOUT TRIGGERS LIKE CIGARETTE SMOKE, MOLD, AND PET DANDER, AND A REALLY GOOD JOB OF TEACHING PARENTS AND KIDS HOW TO PROPERLY USE THEIR ASTHMA MEDICATIONS. I SEE A LOT OF KIDS IN CLINIC AND PARENTS NOT EXACTLY SURE. WHY IS IT GETTING BETTER? ARE WE KEEPING CLEANER HOMES? I THINK WE’RE DOING BETTER EDUCATION, KEEPING CLEANER HOMES, I DON’T KNOW THAT WE KNOW


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