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Asthmatic children and feather bedding

Feather bedding no help for asthmatic children


Asthmatic children do not gain any benefit from using a feather pillow and doona rather than synthetic bedding, an Australian trialhas found.


While observational studies have suggested lower rates of wheeze in children who use feather bedding, this was not borne out in a one year intervention carried out in NSW and the ACT.

 The prospective study in almost 200 children who were sensitive to house dust mite found no difference in respiratory symptoms between those who were assigned to use a duck feather pillow and quilt and those who used synthetic bedding. However, sleeping position seemed to be a factor in the effect of bedding, as children who slept in the supine position appeared to gain some protection against wheeze by using feather bedding, according to the study published in the Archives of Childhood Diseases (online 30 March).

Study author Professor Nick Glasgow from the ANU Medical


The authors say their trial showed that bedding alone was not a significant factor in child wheeze, and that other variables such as sleeping position should be further investigated.

Michael Woodhead


 Here are some strategies that might help your child cope better with asthma:

Regularly wash soft toys, or put them in the freezer overnight to kill dust mites.

Eliminate all food allergens from the diet. The most common allergenic foods are dairy, soy, citrus, peanuts, wheat, fish, eggs, corn, food colourings, and additives. An elimination/challenge trial may be helpful in uncovering sensitivities. (Ring for an appointment to obtain details on this type of elimination diet.

Reduce pro-inflammatory foods in the diet including saturated fats (meats, especially poultry, and dairy), refined foods, and sugar.

Patients sensitive to antibiotics should eat only organic meats to avoid antibiotic residues.

Avoid foods with a high content of mould or leftover food, yeasts, pickles, vinegars, etc

Emphasise foods high in essential fatty acids such as oily fish and nuts / seeds. See the new formula food2live (visit

Eat a minimally processed diet rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients and bioflavonoids.

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