Asthma is the number one health condition affecting Australian kids. What can we do to help our families?

2 min
07 September 2023

Today marks the end of Asthma Week in Australia. With 2.7 million Australians affected by asthma, and almost 40,000 people (half being kids under 14) hospitalised each year, chances are you know someone or are someone impacted. (Reference: Jamie Durie, Asthma Australia, 28 August 2023).


So, how 'bout a pop quiz. Could you name any common triggers for asthma symptoms?


82% of us know that dust can trigger symptoms, 70% could name mould... But only 25% of us are aware that gas appliances are also a trigger. (Reference: Dr Tim Senior, Asthma Australia, 7 February 2023).


Children are 1.3 times more likely to develop asthma in a home with a gas cooktop due to its emissions. That's on par with having tobacco smoked inside the home! (Reference: Michele Goldman, Asthma Australia, 28 July, 2023).


It's no wonder that Asthma Australia is a keen advocate for the removal of gas in Australian homes, and they've prepared a number of reports into the impacts of gas on the health of our families.


In 2021 their report "Kicking the Gas Habit: How Gas is Harming our Health" revealed that cooking with gas is estimated to be responsible for up to 12% of the childhood asthma burden in Australia. Climate Council spokeswoman and report author, Dr Kate Charlesworth encourages governments and developers to take the lead in enabling Australian households to protect their health. (Reference: Kate Charlesworth, Asthma Australia, 6 May, 2021).


"Governments can take simple, practical steps... such as ending mandatory gas connections for new residential developments," suggest Dr Charlesworth. This has long been the case in the ACT, and this year we've seen the latest announcement of similar measures in Victoria.


"Just as doctors spoke up on the dangers of asbestos and tobacco in the past, we have a responsibility now to sound the alarm on the dangers of gas," explains Dr Charlesworth.

"Australians who switch from gas to efficient electric appliances will save money, protect their family and improve the health and wellbeing of our communities," she adds.


If you're cooking with gas (whether also considering a move to Wildflower or not), Asthma Australia (6 May, 2021) recommends some simple steps to reduce your children's exposure to gas cooking emissions:

  • Use an extractor fan, if it vents outside.
  • Avoid using an extractor fan that doesn't vent outside, this can just move contaminants around and make things worse.
  • Open windows to ventilate during and immediately after cooking.
  • Block off the kitchen from the rest of your home to avoid fumes spreading.
  • Try to keep kids away from the kitchen when cooking.
  • Consider a portable induction cooktop or electric frypan. They're inexpensive, allow for cooking of large batches and can be taken on camping or day trips.


To better understand your asthma health, try the Asthma Australia Asthma Control Questionnaire here.


Would you like to be proactive about protecting this avenue of your family's health? Stockland Wildflower has a range of all-electric house and land packages on family-sized lots for you to make Piara Waters' perfect pocket your new healthy home. Check them out today.

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