Increase In Children's Allergies

By: Erika Kurre
By: Erika Kurre

There is a wider variety of food, allergens and germs now than ever before.

Medical professionals say our "no exposure" society is not helping kid's bodies cope with the problem.

School nurses around the Wiregrass say they're noticing an increase in the number of students who have asthma and allergic reactions.

The causes could range from exposure to certain allergens, and even over-use of anti-bacterial products.

Abbigale is a typical student at Montana Street Magnet School.

Everyday, she visits Nurse, Angela Kelley for a daily treatment, which includes using an inhaler and even nasal spray.

She's just one of several students Nurse Kelley assists. "We have more children than ever before on asthma inhalers these days," says Kelley.

The school administers daily medications to about seven students this year, but several more carry asthmatic inhalers with them.

Medical professionals say the increase in asthma and allergic reactions come from too much cleanliness, or too little contact with unhealthy things.

So, because of the growing lack of exposure, especially to 'good' and even 'bad' bacteria, the immune system is now hyper-active when the bacteria enters a person's body.

"It treats that over-aggressively versus someone who comes into contact with more disease than what we do. So, I guess it's an unfortunate negative aspect of being part of such a healthy country," explains Kelley.

As for Abbigale and several other kids in her class, treatments have become a way of life.

Plus, in thousands of other schools across the country, caution and medication are always on-hand.

It's important to know that there's nothing anyone can do to prevent having allergies. Everyone just needs to be aware of the symptoms.

Any symptoms more severe than watery eyes or a runny nose should be discussed with a doctor.

Experts say peanut allergies alone have jumped 300-percent in three years.

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