Thursday, October 20, 2011

Kid's Allergies and Asthma

There never seems to be enough time for parents to ask all of the questions they want of their kid's pediatrician.  And parents whose children have allergies or asthma have lots of questions and new concerns that pop up all of the time.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has published an updated guide called "Allergies and Asthma - What Every Parent Needs to Know."   This paperback should go a long way toward answering those questions and letting parents know how to deal with health problems.

This book is easy to navigate and is written in language that will be understood by the reader, yet it is not a "dummy guide" but a real source of information.   It starts with basic physiology and  explains what happens with the immune system when an allergen is encountered.  Those allergens can cause skin allergies, hay fever, food allergies, killer allergies (anaphylaxis) and asthma.  The authors advise how to identify, prevent and treat these conditions.

Childhood asthma is one of the most common chronic conditions in the United States, yet it is poorly understood by parents.  The numbers of young people and children with asthma is rising and no one can say exactly why.  "Allergies and Asthma" helps parents understand the disease and it dispels outdated beliefs like "Asthma is an emotional disorder; it's all in the mind" or "People with asthma should use medication only when they have attacks."

The book is well written, has a glossary of commonly used terms and definitions and contains an extensive lists of foods that may have allergic potential for some children.  The foods that contain egg protein is quite surprising, like processed meat products and breakfast cereals.  And milk protein can be found in sausages and packaged soups.  (This is another reason to eat simple foods without additives as much as possible)

I recommend "Allergies and Asthma" for anyone who is interested in learning more about allergic reactions or wants to know if allergies could be causing a problem with their child.  It is a great resource written by the experts.

"Allergies and Asthma - What Every Parent Needs to Know." (Michael J. Welch, MD, FAAAAI, FAAP, CPI, Editor in Chief.)