Your child’s lungs are one of the most vulnerable organs. They’re some of the last crucial bits to develop before your baby is born, and they continue to be sensitive to genetic and environmental factors throughout their early childhood. Let’s investigate early life risks to kid’s lungs.
Early Life Risks to Kid’s Lungs
Of course, you can’t protect your child from everything regardless of how much you might wish to. What you can do is be aware of common risks so that you can discuss them with your pediatric lung doctor if you have concerns in the first years of your child’s life.
These are some early risks that you can keep in mind while your child is still young, so you have the option to take preventative steps and know when to ask for pediatric lung care in NYC.
When a child is born prematurely it isn’t uncommon for them to experience newborn respiratory distress syndrome. This is essentially the official medical term for breathing problems related to premature birth.
While many premature babies are able to develop perfectly healthy lungs with time, they are more likely to experience complications, such as:
- scarring in the lungs
- bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- severe reactions to common respiratory viruses
Premature birth is not always preventable. In fact, it can be preferable if continued gestation poses a threat to the pregnant parent and/or the fetus. With that said, you can limit the risk of premature birth by attending routine prenatal care, which will help you identify potential risks for premature birth as they arise.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that can affect anyone. With that said, it is most common in people who have two white parents, especially if those parents are of northern European descent.
This chronic condition damages the respiratory and digestive systems over the course of the affected person’s life. The condition is considered life threatening. Currently, only about half of people with cystic fibrosis live past 40, but new technology means that children born with it today can expect a significantly better quality of life and a longer lifespan.
Cystic fibrosis cannot be prevented. The best you can do as a parent is to have yourself and your partner tested prior to conceiving to see whether you are both carriers. The good news is that the condition is rare and also recessive.
Asthma is a relatively common respiratory condition among children. Factors that contribute to asthma can be genetic and environmental.
While many children will experience a decrease in symptoms as they age and learn to manage their condition, it is still very important to receive appropriate care from your New York City asthma doctor.
In extreme situations, asthma attacks can be fatal. You should reach out to your pediatrician and pediatric pulmonologist if you notice your child is displaying any sign of respiratory difficulty. Fast breathing, labored breathing, panting, wheezing, and persistent coughing are all tell-tale signs.
Respiratory Syncytial Virus
RSV is a major concern for infants and the elderly. It tends to circulate in the fall and winter months along with your typical seasonal cases of influenza and cold.
In infants and the elderly, RSV is a common cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia. These conditions cause swelling and infection in the lungs, which can spell serious trouble for your little one.
Fortunately, preventing the spread of RSV to your newborn child usually only requires common sense safety measures, including:
- Limit your child’s exposure to a relatively small number of people.
- Make sure everyone thoroughly washes their hands before touching your child.
- Do not allow anyone to kiss your child.
Along with requiring basic vaccinations (TDAP, flu, COVID) for people visiting before your child is three months old and following a normal vaccine schedule is usually enough to prevent your child from contracting a potentially deadly virus.