With the new school year about to begin, you may be worried about your child’s allergies acting up. Statistically, childhood allergies are not uncommon. The most recent information available from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) cites that “Worldwide, sensitization rates to one or more common allergens among school children are currently approaching 40%-50%.” The site then breaks down the different types of allergies and their prevalence:
- In 2012, 9.0% or 6.6 million children reported hay fever in the past 12 months
- Findings from a 2009 to 2010 study of 38,480 children (infant to 18) indicated:
8% have a food allergy
- Approximately 6% aged 0-2 years
- About 9% aged 3-5 years
- Nearly 8% aged 6-10 years
- Approximately 8% aged 11-13 years
- More than 8.5% aged 14-18 years
- 38.7% of food allergic children have a history of severe reactions
- 30.4% of food allergic children have multiple food allergies
- Of food allergic children, peanut is the most prevalent allergen, followed by milk and then shellfish
- In 2010, black children in the U.S. were more likely to have had skin allergies (17%) than white (12%) or Asian (10%) children
- In 2012, 12.0% or 8.8 million children reported skin allergies in the past 12 months
One of the reasons your child is susceptible to allergies in the beginning of the year is that the classrooms have probably been closed up for the entire summer, creating a breeding ground for dust and mold. As we stated in our blog “Fall Allergies and Your Child”:
And while school staff puts in as much effort as possible to keep the building free of dust, mold, and other irritants, sometimes it’s just hard to get it all. This is because with all of the school’s nooks and crannies and the amount of children running around stirring things up, there is only so much anyone can do to keep the building allergy-free.
Accommodations for Food Allergies
Luckily when it comes to food allergies, schools have taken many precautions to protect students from being exposed to triggers. Accommodations such as peanut-free lunchrooms and gluten-free options can help keep your child safe. Be sure to make the school aware of your child’s allergies and if they have an EpiPen, keep an extra one with the school nurse. The best bet is to have your young learner bring their own lunch and snacks. For some delicious allergy-free ideas, visit the Kids with Food Allergies Community page for “Allergy-Friendly School Lunch Box Ideas (Video and Resources).”
For parents of children suffering from asthma, including exercise-induced asthma, there are additional concerns about back-to-school. The American Lung Association provides a “Back to School with Asthma Checklist” to help make the transition safer and easier.
As a parent, you know that the most effective way to keep your child healthy is to be pro-active, so if your child does suffer from allergies, make an appointment with the expert physicians at CT Sinus Center to pinpoint the exact cause and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will work for your child and your family. While we unfortunately can’t predict if and when a child will begin to suffer from allergies, we are here to help at any time if you notice that they seem to be showing symptoms.
When allergies hit, call 860-BALLOON to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices and feel confident that you are sending your young learner off with the tools they need to be healthy.