Tag Archives: asthma

Interesting Child Health Links 5/21/18

The Following are Dr. Smo’s links to interesting articles about children and child health for the week of 5/21/18

Article #1The pediatricians at Nationwide Children’s hospital discuss the causal relationship between air pollution and asthma, one of today’s biggest health problems for children.


Article #2– The Seattle Mama Doc, reviews many important aspects of child car restraints in this article. What is your child car seat IQ? Find out in this interesting article.

Continue reading

More of Grandma’s Wisdom (Pedcast)


I  was out riding my bike with my buddies the other day and had an experience that reminded me of something I talk to parents about all the time…that is the concept of bronchial sensitivity. We all understand that different humans are born with different, genetic sensitivities to irritants.   Let’s take light sensitivity for example; some of us with very dark skin can tolerate an enormous amount of sun exposure without burning and others of us sustain suffer first and second degree solar burns from minimal sun exposure. How can this be?  I go to the beach with my black friends and they can be out on the beach all day without any problem and me, sitting right next to them, I get sick with severe sun poisoning. The answer is mostly in the genes and today we are going to explore how this relates your children. Continue reading

Fast Food: More bad news (Article)

It is common knowledge that fast food is not good for our children’s health. Recent research confirms what we already knew: an extensive new study correlates consumption of fast food with a child’s increased chance of developing asthma and allergies. The International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood surveyed nearly half a million six- and seven-year-olds and thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds across 31 and 51 countries, respectively. The study found that teenagers who consume fast food more than three times a week are 40% more likely to develop asthma, while children aged six or seven who also eat fast food more than three times a week are 27% more likely to suffer from asthma. Additionally, both the six- and seven-year-olds and teenagers who frequently dined on fast food suffered from increased frequency of food allergies, eczema, and allergic rhinitis (hay fever).

Clearly, the researchers have provided us with valuable information, but much more work needs to be done to confirm the study’s results. Many factors are undoubtedly at play beneath the surface. While overconsumption of fast food seems to be associated with an increase in many allergic diseases in children, excessive eating of processed fast food may not totally explain why children are, on average, more allergic than their older relatives. Other factors undoubtedly contribute to the problem.

Nonetheless, this new information provides us with things we can do TODAY to lessen a child’s chance of allergy: providing a more traditional diet rich in fruits and vegetables may be part of the solution. By simply visiting the produce aisle instead of swinging by the nearest drive-through, a child’s health and quality of life can be changed for the better. Replacing processed sugars, carbohydrates, and preservatives with natural foods is the first step towards a healthier lifestyle and possibly less allergy disease for both you and your children.

Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com. Let me hear what your think. For more timely medical updates about children, subscribe to DocSmo.com on iTunes or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.  Until next time.

Smo notes:


Authored by Keri Register, Davidson College intern and Paul Smolen MD

From the desk of Doc Smo: Once again, no free lunch (Article)

I can think of no pharmacological therapy in medicine that is free of unwanted side effects.   Even therapies that bestow great benefit seem to have  unintended consequences.  The September 2012 issue of the  New England Journal of Medicine featured an article that considered the impact of inhaled steroid treatment of asthma on adult height.  Physicians have speculated for a long time that  the frequent ingestion of in childhood reduces a child’s adult height, but what about the very small doses that are used in inhalers:  do  they have the same effect on adult height?

The authors of this article provide the first good, long-term data about the effect of inhaled steroids on growth.  According to these researchers, inhaled steroids reduce adult height by a very small amount:  an average of  1.8 cm or a ½ inches in children who used a common inhaled medication called “budesonide” ( brand name “Pulmicort”).   They confirm that even small doses of inhaled budesonide slow growth slightly with the effect persisting into adult life.  BUT, and this is a big capital letter BUT, the investigators say that this negative effect on ultimate height must be weighed against the tremendous benefit that children with persistent asthma receive in controlling a potentially life threatening disease.

As with vaccines, antibiotics, and even chemotherapy, the decision to use inhaled steroids requires weighing potential risks against anticipated benefits.  If the benefits are high and the risks are low, families and doctors should consider using inhaled steroids.  On the other hand, the article highlights the wisdom of  prescribing the minimum effective dose of these medications. Your comments are welcome at www.docsmo.com.  Explore all the content while you are there.  Until next time, this is Dr. Paul Smolen wishing you and your family good health.


Smo Notes:

Kelly H, et al “Effect of inhaled glucocorticoids in childhood on adult height” New Engl J Med 2012; DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1203229.