Parent Information & Resources
Allergy & Asthma
Asthma is a respiratory disease of the lungs, and is the most common serious chronic disease of childhood. It is characterized by episodes of inflammation and narrowing of the lower airways in response to asthma “triggers.” These triggers include infectious agents, stress, pollutants such as cigarette smoke, and common allergens such as cat/dog dander, dust mites, and pollen.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 50 million children in the United States have allergies. Allergies can be a concern for both parents and children. It’s important for parents to be aware of common childhood allergens, allergy symptoms, and how to respond if their child has an allergic reaction.
About half of the children who get eczema will also someday develop hay fever or asthma. Eczema is not an allergy itself, but allergies can trigger eczema. Some environmental factors can also trigger the condition. About 1 out of every 10 kids develops eczema. Typically, symptoms appear within the first few months of life, and almost always before a child turns 5.
Many parents are concerned that allergy shots should not be given to young children, when in fact children probably benefit the most from allergy shots. Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, can treat allergic rhinitis, allergic conjunctivitis, and allergic asthma in children, as well as prevent the development of asthma in children with nasal allergies.