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Cystic fibrosis

Can cystic fibrosis be prevented?

Cystic fibrosis is caused by faulty genes. There is nothing that you can do to prevent it.

With proper treatment, the symptoms can be managed to make the condition easier to live with, particularly in childhood.

On this page, we’ll tell you how you can manage your child’s cystic fibrosis.

Managing the symptoms of cystic fibrosis

Most school-age children with cystic fibrosis are relatively healthy and can join in all school activities. Make sure your child:

  • has regular appointments to monitor their condition. These will check how well their treatment is working and whether anything needs to be changed.
  • gets the right treatment as recommended by their specialist team. This may include antibiotics, physiotherapy, and other medication.
  • gets the right nutrition. This is vital to help your child develop normally and keep them healthy.
  • is up-to-date with all the routine vaccinations and make sure that they have the flu jab every year once they're old enough.
  • gets suitable exercise. This is an important part of their physiotherapy treatment and will help manage the condition. Ask their physiotherapist to suggest appropriate ways of exercising.
  • avoids cigarette smoke. This could make their symptoms worse. Our section on risks to children’s lungs has more information about the risks of smoke and other air pollution.

Where can I find out more?

You can get more information and support from the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

We use your comments to improve our information. We cannot reply to comments left on this form. If you have health concerns or need clinical advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

Last medically reviewed: September 2019. Due for review: September 2022

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.