Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Allergy Season is here!

We have received many phone calls lately with parents concerned about allergies. This odd weather pattern has caused for an abnormal spring and allergies are here stronger than ever. Here are some quick tips about allergies and several links to find out more information on treatment.
Allergy describes a condition involving the immune system that causes sneezing and itching, chronic rashes, wheezing or even life threatening allergic reactions(AAP). The more you know about allergies, the symptoms, causes and treatments --the more prepared you will be to help your child.

•Some 50 million Americans have allergies (about 1 in 5 people in this country).
•The most common type of allergy is hay fever (allergic rhinitis

•More than 17 million Americans have asthma, and about one-fourth of these are younger than 18 years. Asthma accounts for about 4,000 deaths a year.
•Seventy to 80% of school-aged children with asthma also have allergies, which are among the most common triggers for asthma, closely tied with viral respiratory infections.
•If one parent has allergies, there’s a 25% chance that a child will also be allergic. The risk is more than doubled to 60% to 70% if both parents have allergies.
Many aspects of allergies, eczema, and asthma still are not fully understood. But advances in the diagnosis and treatment of these disorders are helping millions of sufferers. (2011 AAP) Click here for the
full article

What is an allergy?
An allergy is not a disease but a description of a way that the immune system reacts. Allergies happen when the part of the body that fights off illnesses overreacts to a usually harmless substance called an allergen that is breathed in, eaten, injected, or touched.

What causes allergies?
Pollen from trees, grasses, weeds, molds, dust mites, animal dander, foods or medicines and insect stings.

How can we tell the difference between Allergies or cold?
Allergies usually have these symptoms:
~itchy, runny nose with thin, clear nasal discharge and/or a stuffy nose.
itchy watery eyes
~repeated sneezing and itching of the nose, eyes or skin that last for a few weeks or months
~no fever
~often seasonal symptoms
Cold symptoms usually have these symptoms:
~stuffy nose
~nasal discharge that is clear or colored and thick that last 3-10 days with or without a fever
~occasionally sneezing
~Feeling sick, tired or listless and having a poor appetite

How can you help your child?
Identifying and avoiding the things that your child is allergic to is best. If you child has an allergic condition try the following:
~Keep windows closed during the pollen season, especially on dry, windy days when pollen counts are higher
~Keep the house clean and dry to reduce mold and dust mites
~Avoid having pets and indoor plants
~Avoid those things that you know cause allergic reactions in your child
~Prevent anyone from smoking anywhere near your child, especially in your home or car
~See your pediatrician for safe and effective medicine that can be used to help alleviate or prevent allergy symptoms

Here are a few more links to websites that you may find helpful

**info from 2011 AAP Patient Information sheet
**Facts from with link to full article

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