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Allergies in children

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T Food_enHD_1A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, found that food allergies ranging from severe to moderate among children increased approximately 50 per cent between 1997 to 2011 but there was no clear indication why.

“No one is certain why food allergies are on the rise,” said Dr. Kari Nadeau is one of the scientists who conducted the food allergy research. “But now, one of every 13 children has a food allergy. For a child with a severe food allergy, every meal that is not made under appropriate supervision can be hazardous.”

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The most common food allergies were found to be to nuts, soy, milk, egg, wheat and shellfish. In some cases, the reaction can be so severe that it results in the throat swelling up and closing, leading to death.

Allergies in children can be triggered by different things which include; insect bites or stings, pets or animal hair or fur, dust mites, mold, cigarette smoke, perfume, car exhaust, peanuts, eggs, milk and milk products. They can also be hereditary from their parents.

In most cases, allergies can cause chronic nasal congestion in children. This can sometimes lead to the child breathing through their mouth when they are sleeping. If the nasal congestion is left untreated it can affect the growth of teeth.

Allergies can also lead to ear inflammation causing infections, itching and the accumulation of fluid that can cause a loss of hearing.

Some of the symptoms parents need to look out for to find out if a child has allergies include; skin rashes or hives, asthma, sneezing, coughing, a runny nose, itchy eyes or a stomach upset when they eat certain foods.

There is no cure for food allergies, strict avoidance of food allergens is an important measure to prevent serious health consequences. 

The best way to treat allergies is getting medical attention immediately from a doctor once diagnosed. They will then prescribe the child the required medication to treat the allergy whenever the baby has a reaction.

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