A new study has found that chronic exposure to air pollution will damage the young lungs of infants and render them more susceptible to developing bronchitis.
Study author Catherine Karr, an academic pediatrician at the University of Washington, Seattle, said that the findings suggested doctors need to work with parents to ensure that infants' exposure to traffic is minimal at best.
"This study adds to our understanding about infants and children as being susceptible to health risks from low-level, day-in, day-out exposure to contaminants, even in regions where we might not think it's a bad air pollution setting," she added.
The study examined information about nearly 12,000 babies who had suffered from bronchitis before the age of 1. Babies who had been exposed to the most air pollution were 5 to 10% more likely to be hospitalized for bronchitis as compared to babies who did not have much exposure to pollution.
The details are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.