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Study shows children's food allergies on the rise

Category: Allergy Testing

Data collected from the National Health Interview Survey between 1997 and 2011 by the National Center for Health Statistics found that rates of food allergies in children are growing. These growing rates have concerned parents and education officials who want to be sure that children are not exposed to allergens at school.

The data, released this May, showed that children under 17 gained more food allergies between 1997 and 2011. Skin allergies have also become more common, though respiratory allergies, - the most common in children - have remained the same. Information from the survey also revealed that skin allergies decreased in prevalence with age while respiratory ones became more common.

Children from higher income levels were more likely to have allergies, while Hispanic children were less likely. Lower income levels did not increase any rates of allergies. The data also demonstrated that allergies are the most common medical conditions in children in the Untied States. In total, approximately 1 in 20 children suffer from a food allergy.

In response to the data, many parents and officials have shown concern over exposure to allergens. Another study from the Parent Teachers Association showed that more than 3,600 parents and teachers revealed that many are worried about children being exposed to allergens. Two out of three parents noted that their child knew someone with a food allergy in their school, while many young students reported that they knew children with allergies as well.

While peanuts used to be of the most concern to parents, gluten has become the most worrisome. Forty-three percent of parents expressed concern in about the fact that gluten would be much harder to monitor in schools than peanuts or other common allergens. Compared to that number, only slightly less than 20 percent of parents were concerned about peanuts, which are easier to monitor.

Allergy testing for children before school starts is essential to keep children away from potentially harmful reaction substances. Getting a lab test online can provide peace of mind to parents who may not know that their children have any allergies. Other lab tests, such as blood tests, can also be done from home and discreetly processed in professionally staffed facilities. For those concerned with cholesterol, diabetes or many other conditions, the answer can be a test done from the comfort and privacy of home.

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