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Preventing asthma is different from preventing acute attacks. Not all risk factors for asthma can be prevented. However, environmental factors can be changed.

Not all risk factors for asthma can be prevented. However, environmental factors can be changed:

  • Breastfeeding may reduce the risk of asthma developing at a young age.
  • Reduce or eliminate smoke exposure.
    • Do not smoke during pregnancy.
    • Avoid places where second-hand smoke is present during pregnancy.
    • Avoid exposing children to second-hand smoke.
  • Avoid common allergy producing substances during pregnancy and during the first 2 years of your child's life.
  • Reduce or eliminate occupational exposures known to cause asthma.

If your are pregnanct, talk to your doctor about taking acetaminophen. It may increase the risk of asthma.


Asthma in adults and adolescents. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated February 22, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Asthma in children. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated April 6, 2017. Accessed September 8, 2017.

Liu T, Valdez R, Yoon PW, Crocker D, Moonesinghe R, Khoury MJ. The association between family history of asthma and the prevalence of asthma among US adults: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999-2004. Genet Med. 2009;11(5):323-328.

Mapp CE, Boschetto P, Maestrelli P, Fabbri LM. Occupational asthma. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2005;172(3):280-305.

Sleiman PM, Hakonarson H. Recent advances in the genetics and genomics of asthma and related traits. Curr Opin Pediatr. 2010;22(3):307-312.

Xepapadaki P, Manios Y, Liarigkovinos T, et al. Association of passive exposure of pregnant women to environmental tobacco smoke with asthma symptoms in children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2009;20(5):423-429.

Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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