A new survey by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology reveals that childhood allergies are nothing to sneeze at. The survey, the largest of its kind to date, culls data from interviews with parents of 1000 children -- 500 with allergies and 500 without. The results confirm that pediatric allergies can significantly impair a child's daily functioning, academic achievement, and ability to sleep.
The parents of kids with allergies reported that 40 percent of their children suffer from sleep disturbances related to their symptoms, 40 percent have impaired school performance, and 21 percent must limit their activities. About half the children in the allergic group experienced headaches, facial pain, or other severe symptoms. In contrast, only eight percent of non-allergic kids experienced disturbed sleep, according to the parents; 10 percent showed impaired academic performance; and only 11 percent needed to limit their activities due to poor health.
Considering that up to 40 percent of children in the US suffer from allergies, these are worrisome figures. Not only does this mean that almost half of our kids shuffle through life with sniffles, insomnia, and bad grades related to allergies -- it also means that a whole lot of them take drugs to control these symptoms. According to the survey, nearly half of all allergic kids use prescription allergy medication, and more than half of those haven't been satisfied with the results or have experienced troublesome side effects.
That's why parents would be wise to help their children eliminate the underlying causes of allergies, instead of attempting to merely mask symptoms by stuffing their kids full of meds. Understand that there's not much you can do to prevent your children from being exposed to dust, pollens, pollutants, food additives, and other allergy-producing substances unless you live beyond earth's atmosphere. What you can do, however, is remove some of the irritants that keep your child always on the edge of symptoms so that the slightest little trigger throws them over the top. A good first step would be to eliminate (or significantly cut back on) known allergens such as wheat, corn, soy, and dairy. After that, it also helps to use digestive enzymes with meals to assist in the breakdown of proteins. For children, using a dedicated proteolytic enzyme formula between meals to clean out Circulating Immune Complexes (CIC's) may be too strong an option, but taking a digestive enzyme capsule before bed on an empty stomach should work just fine.
The bottom line is that we live in an allergen-rich universe, and it's getting worse as pollution and toxins in the environment increase. You can give your kids some hope of a sniffle-free childhood (and adulthood) by instituting practices now to keep their systems clear of toxic build-up and allergenic irritants. In other words, don't just suppress allergy symptoms; eliminate their causes.