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Asthma in Children - What Increases Your Risk

Pets

Experts are also not sure about the effect that pets in the home have on getting asthma. An analysis of several studies found that having a pet cat appeared to protect against asthma. Having a pet dog slightly increased the risk for asthma. The effect of other furry pets on the risk of asthma was not clear.7

If your child already has asthma and allergies to pets, having a pet in the home may make his or her asthma worse.

Risks for very bad asthma attacks

Your child may be at increased risk for severe asthma attacks if he or she:

  • Is an infant with asthma symptoms.
  • Has a history of severe symptoms, such as asthma attacks that get worse quickly and frequent nighttime symptoms.
  • Has difficulty taking medicines or often has to use short-acting beta2-agonists such as albuterol.
  • Has frequent changes in peak expiratory flow.
  • Has symptoms that last for a long time.
  • Does not use oral steroid medicines quickly enough during an attack.
  • Does not have good support from families and friends.

Triggers also may make asthma worse and may lead to asthma attacks.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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