Understanding and Coping With Children’s Allergies

James R. CoffeyStarred Page By James R. Coffey, 23rd Nov 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Kids

Kids’ allergies can go far beyond just the runny nose or sneezing spells, they can affect their breathing, skin, bowels, and even their ability to think clearly. Kids typically suffer months or even years while parents attempt to discern the source of their kid’s ongoing misery.

Total Stress Load

Our well-being and state of health is determined by our physiological ability to adapt to our environment, what the scientific community calls our “total stress load.” The ever-growing list of pollutants of the air, water, and land add to a long list of naturally-occurring allergens which constantly bombard our senses, forcing our adaptive mechanisms to adjust. And while many of us are able to make these physiological adjustments relatively easily, for others the adaptive process effectively weakens them, pushing their total stress load beyond the tolerance level. The result, for a growing number of people, are allergies. And with over 12 million artificial chemicals presently in use in the US alone, and an estimated 1000 new toxins being introduced into our environment every day, the incidence and rise of allergies and respiratory problems among both adults and children is alarming. And these chemicals are not just isolated to the air we breath--which is cause enough for serious concern--they are finding their way into our water, drinks, drugs and medications, cosmetics, textiles, and of course, our food. The food we feed our children.

Allergy or allergen?

The commonly-accepted definition of an allergy is a sensitivity to a substance that doesn’t ordinarily bother most people. Many scientists believe this definition needs to be amended to reflect the many commonly-used chemicals, foods, inhalants, and other environmental factors which are affecting larger and larger sectors of the population--not just select groups. An allergic reaction can involve the individual’s immune system, but non-immunological responses are also possible. And when children begin to display symptoms of allergies, it’s quite often impossible to immediately distinguish them from those of a common cold, flu, or hay fever triggered by common allergens. Children often suffer for months or even years while parents attempt to discern the source of their kid’s misery.

A harmful environment

Children are exposed to potentially harmful environmental conditions every day--and in many cases, no amount of adaptation will save them from suffering. In the home (in the foods they eat, exposure to cigarette toxins, pet hair, dander, and molds, unclean water, household cleaning products, gas from carpeting, fumes from paint--not to mention the rising use of harmful chemicals in the yard and garden), in the school (asbestos in many old buildings, contaminated air-conditioning systems, lead in paint, commercial disinfectants, and a whole assortment of cosmetics and personal grooming products), and of course, in the outside world (carbon monoxide, methane gas, fumes from motor oil and gasoline, paint, pesticides, herbicides, and thousands of other commonly-used toxins)--children pay the price. A price that can be debilitating for some kids. Allergies can go far beyond just the runny nose or sneezing spells, they can affect their breathing, skin, bowels, and even their cognitive and reasoning skills (their ability to think clearly).

Food allergies

While food allergies had long been thought to simply be a pre-disposed inability to tolerate a particular food (strawberries, for instance), science is now recognizing that many children are not just responding to an inherent pre-disposed intolerance, many are developing an intolerance due to the amount of pollutants a food may carry. While common foods such as corn (including corn syrup, corn starch, corn oil), eggs, fish (and fish oil), milk (including cheese and butter), nuts (especially peanuts and peanut butter), and wheat (found in most baked goods and cereals), are at the top of the intolerance list, a number of other common foods are being added due to the environmental conditions these foods are typically subjected to--including tomatoes, shellfish, celery, soy, and a number of other foods ordinarily considered quite healthy. Thus, while statistically, foods are the most common source of allergies in kids, it can be quite an ordeal to figure out which one--or ones--is the culprit. An ordeal that can be performed by the parent only through a strict process of trial and error elimination.

Allergists suggest that when a parent suspects that a food is the source of their kid’s symptoms, they begin with the list of commonly in-tolerated foods and remove them from the child’s diet one at a time, eliminating each for a period of 12 days, while watching for obvious signs of improvement. No improvement, feel free to replace that food, then target another. It’s important to remember that should milk be the suspected culprit, a parent must eliminate all milk products to properly screen: not just the obvious sources such as whole milk and cheese, but also its inclusion in countless products you may not even suspect contain milk. (Read labels.)

Clinical testing

When the elimination process fails (and may have to be extended to environmental conditions in and around the home, school, and outside), a parent must then consider identifying the source of the problem through an allergy identifying test administered by your doctor, or in some areas of the country, available at your local health clinic. But be certain to ask if your doctor or clinic is certified by the American Association of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Also, a parent would be well-advised to independently research allergies to be certain of all the options available (but seek reputable sources like the Mayo Clinic or John Hopkins Hospital--not Wikipedia). You will also find that there are a large number of natural curative and homeopathic remedies that have proven very effective in many cases.


Allergens, Allergic, Allergic Reaction, Allergies, Allergy, Allergy Medications, Allergy Prevention, Allergy Test, Allergy Treatment, Dealing With Kids Allergies, Kids Allergies, Total Stress Load

Meet the author

author avatar James R. Coffey
I am founder and head writer for James R. Coffey Writing Services and Resource Center @ http://james-r-coffey-writing-services.blogspot.com/ where I offer a variety of writing and research services including article composition, ghostwriting, editing...(more)

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

My wifes sister had allergies when younger, but really wanted a dog, so she got allergy shots every 2 weeks.
I know medicine has improved greatly since those days.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

Yes, I did the shot thing as a kid too, but those shots destroyed my natural immune system, making me allergic to a dozen new things. Doctors don't tell you that.

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author avatar Denise O
23rd Nov 2010 (#)

I use a tablespoon of local, non-processed honey, in my tea every morning.
Since doing this some years back, I am now able to tolerate the outdoors.
Great article James.
Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Angelique Newman
25th Nov 2010 (#)

Well written James, Allergies have gotten worse over the years. It's a scary world out there for those who suffer from them.

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author avatar James R. Coffey
26th Nov 2010 (#)

Yes, as we continue to place our personal gain over the environment, allergies will get worse.

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