In an article recently published by the Reuters News Service, it was reported that US-born children suffer from allergies at twice the rate of children who immigrate to the United States.
According to Dr. Ruchi Gupta of Northwestern University in Chicago, higher allergy rates are probably due to one of two factors:
- The “Hygiene Hypothesis”–Perhaps US-born kids are “too clean” and have weaker immune systems because of less exposure to allergens at an early age than kids in other countries.
- Diet–US kids eat more processed foods and fewer fresh fruits and vegetables than kids in other countries.
On the other hand, one of the researchers on the study reported in the article, Dr. Jonathan Silverberg of Beth Israel Medical Center and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York added “climate, obesity and various infections” to the list of possible reasons. “The results of the study suggest that there are environmental factors in the U.S. that trigger allergic disease.” If children are not exposed to these environmental factors in early childhood, they may never develop reactions to them.
So either it is good to be exposed to allergens as a baby and toddler–to build up our immunity to them–or it is bad to be exposed to them–so that we never develop sensitivities.
As a mom, I find this kind of article rather frustrating. I don’t know whether I should have disinfected more or less, sealed up the house or opened the windows. I guess I’m just glad my children do not fall into the 34-35 percent of US kids who suffer from allergic diseases and that their early childhood years are now behind them.
If your child suffers from allergies or asthma, make sure the air they are breathing at home and at school is as free from contaminants as possible! One way to ensure cleaner indoor air is by keeping your ventilation system well-maintained. Check out AirTek’s services and let us help you improve your family’s health!
Now who can stop them from growing up so fast? That’s the study I want to see!
Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day Weekend!