Allergies & Asthma

Factors that affect your child's risk


Prenatal diet Children of mothers who ate apples and fish during pregnancy were less likely to develop asthma and eczema, according to researchers in the Netherlands and Scotland. Low-mercury varieties of fish with the fewest chemicals include wild Pacific salmon and farm-raised trout, says Anatoly Belilovsky, M.D., a pediatrician specializing in asthma and allergies in Brooklyn, N.Y. There’s also a link between low vitamin D levels in mothers and childhood asthma.

Weight gain Putting on too much or too little weight during pregnancy is associated with infant allergies.

Delivery method Cesarean sections are linked with an increased risk of childhood asthma.

Infant pain reliever In a recent study of more than 200,000 6- and 7-year-olds, acetaminophen (Tylenol) use in the first year of life was associated with a 46 percent increase in asthma symptoms.

Spray cleaners and air fresheners The mist can irritate the airways, increasing asthma risk, experts say. — Megan Mattes