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Instances of asthma have been increasing since the early 1980s. New and prospective parents might wonder if they can protect their children from developing the respiratory condition. There are many medications like Advair Diskus and Symbicort that can help with asthma, but there are other things parents can do to help their children's asthma condition. Doctors and researchers are not exactly sure why some kids develop asthma and others don’t, but these 5 fairly common things are potential causes of asthma in children.
1. Sugar Consumption While Pregnant
Researchers recently found that from a group of 9000 mothers, the children of those who consumed the most sugar were significantly more likely to develop allergies or allergic asthma.
The scientists behind this research say more studies are needed to confirm the link. But it’s a good reminder that sugar intake should be regulated whether you’re pregnant or not. 
2. Exposure to Cigarette Smoke
We might still be figuring out exactly how and if sugar affects allergies and asthma, but there’s no doubt that cigarette smoke harms unborn children. Among the potential dangers of smoking while pregnant:
- Low birth weight
- Premature birth
- Birth defects
Adding to this list of reasons, smoking during pregnancy—specifically the first trimester—is linked to increased likelihood of children developing asthma by age 4 to 6. 
Asthma in both children and adults is often linked to underlying allergies, including inhaled irritants like pollen, and also allergy-inducing foods. In these cases, careful avoidance of triggering foods is the best way to prevent these asthma symptoms from occurring. On top of foods like eggs, milk and nuts, food preservatives called sulfites can trigger asthma attacks. These may be harder for parents to identify as problematic, and common sources of sulfites include:
- Dried fruits and vegetables
- Wine and sparkling grape juices
- Bottled lemon or lime juice
- Pickled foods (onions, peppers, etc.)
4. Air Pollution
Poor air quality in the home and outdoors can trigger symptoms in asthma sufferers, but air pollution might be what causes some people to develop asthma in the first place.
A 2015 study found children born in communities where the air is more polluted are likelier to develop asthma that extends into adolescence. The theory behind this data is that air pollution causes damage to children’s developing lungs and immune systems, making them more susceptible to respiratory conditions as they grow. 
5. Family History of Asthma
Controlling the outside influences that children are exposed to might help parents feel proactive about preventing asthma. But one of the largest risk factors – genetics – is nearly impossible to control.
Simply having a family history of asthma makes children significantly more likely to develop the condition, especially if it comes from both parents. People with asthma might not be able to prevent it from occurring in their children, but they can at least be well-equipped to recognize symptoms before they become severe.
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