Skin and food allergies continues to increase in children under 18 years of age. It was reported that from 1997-2011, skin allergies prevalence decreased with age, while respiratory allergies increased with age (CDC).
It has been determined that Hispanic children have a lower prevalence of all allergies, while African American children have a higher prevalence of skin allergies. Family income levels also played a huge part in allergy prevalence among all children under the age of 18. Families with a total income around 200% of the poverty level also have higher allergy prevalence rates.
Allergies Serious or Life Threatening?
Food and skin allergies are caused by a malfunctioning of the immune system. The immune cells will mistaken harmless environmental substances, as an allergen. This hypersensitive disorder will cause the immune system to react , by producing IgE or antibodies. When the antibody is released, it will trigger a response from the mast cells and basophils, which will lead to the release of histamine to combat the invaders.
When the histamine chemical is released into the child’s bloodstream, an allergic reaction is inevitable, which is an attempt to destroy the invader or allergen. Allergic reactions will occur at this time, as well, which will affect the child’s upper respiratory system, skin, nasal passages, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract.
Most allergies are not life threatening, but food allergies are the most common cause that is linked to anaphylactic shock, which is a life threatening immune response.
Allergies Impact on Children’s Lives
Allergies can have a huge impact on children and adolescents. Absentees due to allergic reactions can be devastating for the child’s educational studies and grades. Skin allergies can also play a huge role in decreasing the child’s self-esteem, especially, when other children bully and tease them about their condition.
Interventions for Allergies
To prevent allergic reaction, interventions should be put into place. Allergy testing, monitoring food intake, avoid known allergens, immunotherapy (allergy shots), and over the counter antihistamines.
Are Pet Allergies Hereditary
All allergies can potentially be hereditary, when basically means they can be passed down from the parents to the child through genetics. It does not necessarily mean that if your firstborn has allergies that all of your children will have them, as well. If the parent has been diagnosed with allergies there is a higher risk of their offspring inheriting them.
It has been reported that some children have allergies, but neither parent has them.
Most Common Causes of Allergies in Children
- Digestive allergies (food) wheat, soy, peanuts, fish, eggs, dairy products
- Skin allergies (eczema)
- Respiratory allergies (dust, mold, pollen)
Medication and insect stings are also linked to allergies, but they are less often diagnosed than the above allergens.
Cockroach Allergy Symptoms
Children that reside in public housing located in the inner cities may suffer from cockroach allergies. Many of these children will exhibit signs of upper and lower respiratory systems such as asthma.
If you are interested in more information about skin rashes, be sure to read this baby skin rash post.