Study: Food, skin allergies increasing in children

NEW YORK (AP) — Experts say they’re not sure why parents are reporting more skin and food allergies in their children.

A big government study says 1 in 20 children in the U.S. have food allergies That’s a 50 percent increase from the late 1990s.

For eczema and other skin allergies, it’s 1 in 8 children. That’s an increase of 69 percent. The study found no increase in hay fever or other respiratory allergies.

The new report isn’t precise. It uses annual surveys of thousands of adults interviewed in person and researchers didn’t ask the parents if a doctor had made the diagnosis.

Dr. Morton Galina, a pediatric allergist at Atlanta’s Emory School of Medicine, says, “We see a lot of kids in clinic that really aren’t” allergic to the foods their parents worry about.” He says hives are sometimes blamed on a certain food when a virus was the actual cause.

But experts also believe there’s a real — and unexplained — increase going on, too.

Dr. Peter Lio, a Northwestern University pediatric dermatologist who specializes in eczema, says big cities have higher childhood allergy rates. He says maybe some air pollutant is the unrecognized trigger.

Another theory is that America’s culture of disinfection and overuse of antibiotics doesn’t give children the opportunity to be exposed to the germs and parasites in early childhood that could prevent the body from developing certain allergies.

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%@AP Links

316-a-09-(Jasmine Dantzler, 13-year-old with eczema, in AP interview)-”teasing God’s creation”-Jasmine Dantzler says she has been teased about her eczema. (1 May 2013)

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313-a-17-(Lajeana Howie, statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in AP interview)-”have respiratory allergies”-LaJeana Howie at the CDC says alllergy cases differed by races. ((note length of cut)) (1 May 2013)

<<CUT *313 (05/01/13)>> 00:17 “have respiratory allergies”

314-a-10-(Jasmine Dantzler, 13-year-old with eczema, in AP interview)-”by wearing socks”-Jasmine Dantzler says having eczema is not fun at all. (1 May 2013)

<<CUT *314 (05/01/13)>> 00:10 “by wearing socks”

312-a-09-(Lajeana Howie, statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in AP interview)-”have respiratory allergies”-LaJeana Howie at the CDC says the type of allergies children get depends on their age. (1 May 2013)

<<CUT *312 (05/01/13)>> 00:09 “have respiratory allergies”

311-a-12-(Lajeana Howie, statistician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in AP interview)-”allergy among children”-LaJeana Howie at the CDC says a new study shows more kids have allergies. (1 May 2013)

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310-w-35-(Ed Donahue, AP correspondent, with Lajeana Howie with the CDC and teenager Jasmine Dantzler)–A new survey shows an increase in food and skin allergies in children. The AP’s Ed Donahue reports. (1 May 2013)

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315-a-09-(Jasmine Dantzler, 13-year-old with eczema, in AP interview)-”just too hot”-Jasmine Dantzler says eczema forces her to make wardrobe changes. (1 May 2013)

<<CUT *315 (05/01/13)>> 00:09 “just too hot”

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