Asthma (Young Children)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th November 1960.

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Photo of Mr Anthony Hurd Mr Anthony Hurd , Newbury 12:00 am, 28th November 1960

asked the Minister of Health what evidence he has of an increase in asthma among young children; and what advice his Department gives to parents and schools about the causes.

Photo of Miss Edith Pitt Miss Edith Pitt , Birmingham, Edgbaston

My right hon. Friend has no evidence of any increase in asthma among young children. Advice can only be given on individual cases by the family doctor, who can obtain specialist advice and treatment if necessary.

Photo of Mr Anthony Hurd Mr Anthony Hurd , Newbury

Is my hon. Friend aware that in certain schools there is evidence of an increasing amount of asthma among young children? Is any study being undertaken of conditions that would induce that, and can some advice be given to school authorities?

Photo of Miss Edith Pitt Miss Edith Pitt , Birmingham, Edgbaston

There is no evidence of an increase in asthma, but there is increasing interest in this condition, which may account for my hon. Friend's point. The provision of services and the knowledge of cases of asthma among schoolchildren is a matter for the local education authorities. In some areas there are specially established clinics.

Photo of Dr Edith Summerskill Dr Edith Summerskill , Warrington

Is there no evidence of an increasing incidence of disease with an emotional ætiology? Does this not include asthma? Would it not be better to have an inquiry?

Photo of Miss Edith Pitt Miss Edith Pitt , Birmingham, Edgbaston

That is a broader question. Perhaps the right hon. Lady would care to put it on the Order Paper.