Breastfeeding prevents infant wheezing

Smoking during pregnancy, daycare attendance and breastfeeding are some of the main factors people can change to affect whether their infants develop wheezing.

Wheezing refers to a high-pitched whistling sound, most obvious during exhalation, which is usually caused by blockages in the small breathing tubes in the chest. Occasional wheezing is common in infancy, with an estimated 40 percent of children having at least one bout before age of 3 years. Wheezing in young children is often related to viral infections, and usually does not mean that a child will eventually be diagnosed with asthma. But young children with recurrent wheezing – defined as three or more episodes in a year – over time are relatively more likely to develop asthma, particularly if they have risk factors such as family history of allergies and asthma.