Don’t let food allergies ruin your child’s school year

Don’t let food allergies ruin your child’s school yearJust like meeting homework deadlines and figuring out transportation to and from extracurricular activities, managing your child’s food allergies at school requires planning.

Food allergies affect 4-6 percent of children in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Incredibly, eight foods are responsible for 90 percent of all allergic …Continue reading →

Don’t let seasonal allergies ruin spring for children

Tips to keep the affects of allergies and asthma at bay during pollen seasonGoodbye, winter. Be gone and take your polar vortex with you! Hello, spring. Bring the warm temperatures and sunshine, but take it easy on the pollen count, OK?

The truth is, there isn’t much we can do about plants and trees releasing pollen into the air. While this natural flowering process gives rise to all the beautiful vegetation that makes …Continue reading →

Eating treats with caution this Easter

If you or your children have food allergies, you know how important it is to watch what you eat. And with Easter right around the corner, those baskets of treats sure can be tempting. Personally, I’m huge fan of jelly beans! But food allergies mean you have to be extra …Continue reading →

Prepare for summer fun and food allergies

School’s out and  summer camps, vacations, play dates, barbeques and picnics are here. While a lot of fun, these events can be difficult if your child has food allergies.

Do your homework. Plan ahead for activities and camps that your child will be attending. Contact the person in charge of the event as soon as you sign your child up. Tell him or her about your child’s food allergies. Ask about how they handle kids with food allergies. Ask …Continue reading →

Are allergies bothering you? You’re not alone!

Welcome to spring! This is the time of year that flowering plants and trees release pollen into the air, and it’s making some people miserable. In many parts of the U.S., 2010 is shaping up to be an especially bad year for allergy sufferers. There’s a lot of sneezing, nose blowing and itchy, watery eyes out there.

Weather conditions affect how much pollen is in the air. Trees and flowers are blooming earlier this year because of the warm days we’ve had. Rain will clear the air of pollen and strong winds may take pollen higher up into the atmosphere. Pollen is likely to cause the most trouble on sunny, warm days with a light breeze.

…Continue reading →

Holidays and food allergies

As an asthma/allergist and the mom of a child with food allergies, I know that for people with food allergies, celebrating holidays can be difficult. I’ve found that clear communication and a little planning will help you and your family enjoy the holidays worry-free.

Whether you’re home or traveling, try these tips: …Continue reading →

Leaf burning poses hazard for kids

We’ve had some beautiful fall days lately and of course, living in Wisconsin, we’re never sure how many more of those we’ll get before the snow falls. These days are a popular time for bonfires and leaf burning, and in some communities they are very commonplace. They also can be dangerous to your child’s health.

Burning wood and other yard waste releases harmful particles into the air. These particles are too tiny to see, but they have the ability to travel into the deepest parts of your lungs. Just like cigarette smoke, the smoke from wood and leaves can cause irritation to the lungs, eyes, nose and throat.

Your kids may complain of chest tightness, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, burning eyes, a runny nose or sore throat. These symptoms can last for days after exposure to the smoke. If a child has asthma, symptoms may get worse, and he or she may even have an asthma attack. Children and individuals with underlying medical problems like asthma and allergies are the first to feel the effects of smoke, and are at the greatest risk for problems.

Here’s what you can do to protect your child’s health:

  • Avoid or minimize exposure to bonfires and leaf burning. If your child can’t stay indoors, protect him or her with a mask or a scarf over the nose and mouth.
  • If your child has asthma, make sure you have his or her rescue medications, usually an inhaler, readily available.
  • If your child has an underlying medical condition make sure he or she is taking the medications as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If your child has been exposed to smoke and is having trouble breathing, seek medical care immediately.

If you are burning to dispose of yard waste, please consider checking into alternate methods of yard waste disposal like mulching.
And, as always, take proper safety precautions to prevent burns.

Lauren Donovan, MD, fellow, Pulmonary Clinic, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin