Parents take steps in light of children’s allergies “epidemic”



A report released earlier this month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls allergy rates among U.S. children an “epidemic.” According to the study, 5.1 percent of children suffer from food allergies while 12.5 percent are sensitive to skin allergies. Some of these allergies can be deadly, shining light on the increased need to shield children from a variety of allergens.

Dr. Sakina Bajowala , an allergist from the Chicago area, says, “Every day we get new calls from patients. We see a lot more kids, not with just one allergy, but several.”

Testing and early diagnosis are crucial in limiting the impact of allergies on children. Health care providers make diagnoses based on factors including family history, the child’s history, physical exams, and testing for specific allergen sensitivities.

Once a diagnosis is made, parents have to be vigilant in protecting children from allergen exposure, particularly when they are not present with the child. Shelly Fisher, CEO of Hope Paige Medical ID Marketplace, says, “It is always easier on a parent when we have total control of our child’s environment. For the times they cannot be with us, we designed a safe and fashionable ID line that ‘arms’ your child with critical information and perhaps an emergency phone number allowing for greater peace of mind.”

Hope Paige sells a variety of medical ID bracelets and accessories for children with medical conditions including allergies. They may serve as red flags to preclude others from exposing susceptible children to allergens or provide medical insight to first responders in the event of an allergic reaction. This type of information can, and does, save lives.

John Lehr, CEO of Food Allergy Research and Education, says, “Millions of children are affected by food allergies, and this potentially deadly disease is a serious and growing public health concern.”