At this time, most types of childhood interstitial lung disease (chILD) can't be prevented. People who have a family history of inherited (genetic) interstitial lung disease may want to consider genetic counseling. A counselor can explain the risk of children inheriting chILD.
You and your child can take steps to help prevent infections and other illnesses that worsen chILD and its symptoms. For example:
- Make hand washing a family habit to avoid germs and prevent illnesses.
- Try to keep your child away from people who are sick. Even a common cold can cause problems for someone who has chILD.
- Talk with your child's doctor about vaccines that your child needs, such as an annual flu shot. Make sure everyone in your household gets all of the vaccines that their doctors recommend.
- Talk with your child's doctor about how to prevent your child from getting respiratory syncytial (sin-SIT-e-al) virus. This common virus leads to cold and flu symptoms for most people. However, it can make children who have lung diseases very sick.
- Avoid exposing your child to air pollution, tobacco smoke, and other substances that can irritate his or her lungs. Strongly advise your child not to smoke now or in the future.