A ‘small’ Puff Could Harm Your Child

SEOUL: When you next light up a cigarette and puff out in your room, think about your little one as what you exhale can make your child more vulnerable to pneuomococcal disease, the leading infectious killer of the children worldwide.

According to J Igor Rudan, Professor and CEO Croatian Centre for Global Health University of Split in Croatia, one of the factors that can make children susceptible to the pneumococcal disease is parental smoking and indoor air pollution.

Pneumococcal diseases include pneumonia, meningitis and ear infections. Five of the top 10 countries with highest rate of such diseases are in Asia, including India, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia and Pakistan, health experts claim.

In a presentation made at the two-day symposium on Pneumococcal Vaccination in the Asia Pacific Region held on December 13-14 here, Rudan said the factors that increase the risk of pneumococcal diseases in the children include indoor air pollution and parental smoking.

These, according to Rudan, are reported risk factors, though with less consistency evidence.

However, the consistently reported risk factors that increase pneumonia in the children are malnutrition, low birth weight, lack of measles immunisation, lack of exclusive breastfeeding and crowding (five or more per household).

Sources: The Times Of India

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