Climate Change and Allergic Children

Clarity Allergy Center Logo

Chicago, IL, July 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- School's out and warmer days are here; it's time to send the kids outside. But for kids with allergies and asthma, warm air can be tough to take and the reality is that climate changes will continue to heat things up. How does global warming affect your backyard? Chicago allergist, Dr. Brian Rotskoff, is a breathing expert exploring the impact of global warming on pediatric allergies and asthma.

Pediatric allergic disease is a category of allergic conditions in children that includes allergic rhinitis (hay fever), childhood nasal allergies, asthma, and even eczema (atopic dermatitis). While genetic factors certainly play a role in pediatric allergies, there is growing evidence that the environmental is also shaping our children's development.

"Children's airways are impacted by allergens from the time they're in utero. Allergies and asthma can take root at any stage in their pre-natal development or childhood," explains Dr. Rotskoff. As climate changes, such as higher levels of carbon dioxide, higher temperatures, greater humidity levels, and intense periods of rain and flooding increase, so too does the presence of aeroallergens. Some researchers even believe there is an association between season of birth and subsequent allergic status.

"Unfortunately," says Dr. Brian Rotskoff explains, "our air quality is worsening and the impact on growing children is particular worrisome.

Climate change and pediatric allergies

"We're seeing more and more children with allergic conditions. It may start as eczema in infants, and then progress to asthma or allergies as the children age and become more active. I firmly believe in the connection between increased environmental exposure and allergy trends," Dr. Rotskoff says.

  • Pollen and mold exposure are linked with more severe respiratory symptoms in children with asthma and allergic diseases
  • 2/3 of children with eczema are ultimately diagnosed with hay fever; 50% go on to develop asthma
  • Pediatric emergency room visits increase immediately following high grass pollen count days, found a Canadian study
  • 10% of children under age 17 suffer from hay fever, according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology
  • 10% of children have asthma and 60% of those cases are considered allergic-asthma, reports The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America

Helping children with asthma & allergies

Climate change issues beg wide-scale measures to protect our environment and the development of children. Closer to home, public health initiatives can work toward safer surroundings; for example, humidity control, air filtration, and proper ventilation in schools.

In Chicago, Dr. Rotskoff's Clarity Allergy Center is arming kids with the defenses they need to tackle the changing environment. Immunotherapies, like allergy shots and allergy drops, help kids build immunity to environmental and pet allergies. Over time, allergies can essentially be cured through custom blended anti-allergy treatments.

"With the prevalence of pediatric allergies and the large percentage of asthma kids worsened by allergies, immunotherapy can truly improve lifelong wellness and quality of life," asserts Dr. Rotskoff.

Clarity Allergy Center has convenient locations throughout Chicago, North Chicago, and Arlington Heights.

CONTACT: North Chicago Office: 4801 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 306 Chicago, IL 60646 Chicago Office: 3000 N. Halsted St, Suite 611 Chicago, IL 60657 Arlington Heights Office: 125 South Wilke Road, Suite 100 Arlington Heights, IL 60005 Phone: 773-877-3500

Source: Clarity Allergy Center