Having a pet provides companionship, unconditional love, and tons of snuggles. When a child has a pet, it provides responsibility, and a built in best bud. But can having a pet also improve your health?
Studies show that having a pet around can reduce the chance of developing asthma in children. Allergens found indoors from pets and pests help to lower the chances of children under the age of 7 from developing this breathing condition. The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology published their finding in September 2017. Exposing children to dander and dust from cats, mice and even cockroaches during infancy led to lower asthma rates in the children that were studied. Using canine allergens produced a similar result, but the test was not statistically significant, so it could have been a one time result. On the other side of the study, children who were exposed to tobacco smoke, maternal stress and depression were more likely to develop asthma by age 7.
While it might seem like a handful to take care of a baby AND a pet, it could be worth it if it means your child is healthier for it. Instead of worrying about inhalers, asthma attacks, and staying home from school, preventing allergies and asthma by exposing children to these pet allergens early in life is beneficial for all involved.
- 1More than 8% of children in the US currently have asthma.
- 2Reducing allergen exposure in the home helps control established asthma.
- 3Exposure to a variety of indoor allergens and bacteria in infancy may reduce the risk of developing asthma.