Posted February 12, 2018 12:05:20 The garden decorations are cute, but there’s a downside to their popularity: they can also make your kids sick.
Experts have called on the public to avoid the decor as they may lead to asthma attacks and a host of other health problems.
In a new study, researchers from the University of New South Wales found that a group of six-month-old babies had increased levels of asthma-related inflammation in their lungs after receiving a series of garden decor decorations.
The researchers compared the children to people who did not have the condition.
They found that those who received the garden decorations had a 23 per cent increase in the number of bacteria that had been identified in their respiratory tract and the risk of developing asthma was increased by more than 40 per cent.
“These children were given these cute-looking, but actually harmful, toys,” Dr Jennifer Rutter from the Institute of Child Health and Development at the University said.
“There’s been some research done showing that these are very dangerous to children and we need to be aware of what we are putting in our environment.”
The study involved parents of six children, aged between three and six, who had asthma in addition to their own health conditions.
The children were exposed to six different types of garden decorations ranging from white roses, to pink flowers, to roses, yellow flowers, and black and white roses.
Parents were also exposed to air fresheners and other fragrances.
After a week of exposure to the garden decor, the children had significantly higher levels of inflammation in the respiratory tract.
“The children who received these garden decor were exposed at a much higher risk of having asthma,” Dr Rutter said.
She said the researchers also saw that the children’s respiratory symptoms had improved after the decorations were removed.
“We were able to look at a range of different airway irritants, so we were able get a very clear picture of what the children were being exposed to,” Dr Lachlan Koo from the School of Health Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology said.
Dr Rochdale said it was not known exactly how much exposure to these different types and types of plants may have caused the children asthma.
“It’s possible that some of the other factors that may be causing the children increased asthma, such as the presence of dust and pollen, could also have contributed to this,” she said.
The study is published in the journal Asthma and Allergy.