During 2001-2010, the proportion of persons with asthma in the United States increased by 14.8 percent. In 2010, an estimated 10.1 million (13.6 percent) children had been diagnosed with asthma in their lifetimes, and 7.0 million (9.4 percent) still had asthma, according to the CDC. Why the increase? Many possible factors are being explored but one interesting potentially preventable cause may be the use of antibiotics in infants. “Researchers at Yale University have found evidence that giving babies antibiotics before they reach six months of age could increase their risk of developing asthma by more than two thirds. The scientists found that infants treated with the drugs (antibiotics) faced a 40 per cent rise in the risk of the condition if they were prescribed a single course of treatment in the first few months of life, and the danger increased by 70 per cent if they were given a second batch of antibiotics.” (Daily Telegraph, January 6, 2011) Health care providers have prescribed and parents have demanded antibiotics when they were not really needed; and now we are recognizing the downside to this practice. So if you have a young child make sure that antibiotics are needed and prescribed judiciously.