What can parents do to protect children’s developing lungs?
There are many things that can affect children’s lung health. Some of these are out of your control, such as your child’s genes, gender and age. But there are things that you can do to protect your child’s lungs.
Avoid air pollution and tobacco smoke
We know that second-hand smoke and air pollution can both harm children’s lungs. You can reduce the risk to your child by:
- stopping smoking and avoiding smoky environments
- avoiding busy roads and junctions
- walking instead of taking the car.
Read more about reducing your exposure to air pollution
Physical and mental health depends on a lifestyle that includes a healthy balanced diet.
- Eating lots of fruit, vegetables and fish can help everyone in the family to stay healthy.
- Find out more about eating a balanced diet: Change4life – eat well.
- Read more about eating a healthy diet in pregnancy on the NHS website.
Being physically active is part of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some ways to be more active as a family:
- make exercise part of daily life by walking or cycling to school
- know how much activity is right for your child. Children under 5 who can walk should be active for at least 3 hours a day. Children aged 5-18 should do 60 minutes moderate to vigorous activity daily
- lead by example – let your child see you enjoying being active
Signs of breathing problems in children: we explain what symptoms to look out for, what they mean, and when you should ask for help.