Parents struggle with choosing allergy medicine for their children

Dosing, labeling and a seemingly endless range of allergy medication options can make picking the right medicine a complicated task for some parents | ScienceDaily

Image source: C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health

As allergy season kicks into high gear, many parents are likely searching for over-the-counter medications to help relieve children of symptoms like sneezing, coughing and congestion.

But dosing, labeling and a seemingly endless range of allergy medication options can make picking the right medicine a complicated task for some parents, suggests today’s report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.

Read the full overview here

Systematic review of pathways for the delivery of allergy services

Diwakar L, et al. (2017) BMJ Open. 7:e012647


Objectives: The incidence and prevalence of allergies worldwide has been increasing and allergy services globally are unable to keep up with this increase in demand. This systematic review aims to understand the delivery of allergy services worldwide, challenges faced and future directions for service delivery.

Conclusions: Demand for allergy services appears to have significantly outpaced supply. Primary and secondary care pathways in allergy seem inadequate leading to poor referral practices, delays in patient management and consequently poor outcomes. Improvement of services requires strong public and political engagement. There is a need for well-planned, prospective studies in this area and a few are currently underway. There is no evidence to suggest that any given pathway of service provision is better than another although data from a few long-term, prospective studies look very promising.

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Prevention of Peanut Allergy in the United States

Summary for Parents and Caregivers | National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases


Recent scientific research has shown that peanut allergy can be prevented by introducing peanut-containing foods into the diet early in life. Researchers conducted a clinical trial called Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) with more than 600 infants considered to be at high risk of developing peanut allergy because they had severe eczema, egg allergy, or both. The scientists randomly divided the babies into two groups. One group was given peanut-containing foods to eat regularly, and the other group was told to avoid peanut-containing foods. They did this until they reached 5 years of age. By comparing the two groups, researchers found that regular consumption of peanut-containing foods beginning early in life reduced the risk of developing peanut allergy by 81 percent.

Read the full guidelines here

Associations between allergic diseases and ADHD/ODD in children

Lin, Y-T. et al. (2016) Pediatric Research. 80. pp. 480–485

Background:We aim to investigate the detailed associations between allergic diseases with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) among children.

Methods: Clinical information from 2,896 children enrolled in the Taiwan Children Health Study was obtained for analyses. Allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis, have been evaluated based on the questions adjusted from International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood. The Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham questionnaire was used to assess symptoms of ADHD and ODD. Symptoms of depression, stress, and poor sleep quality were evaluated as the interactive risk factors.

Results: Children having symptoms of allergic diseases within the past 1 y were associated with having all dimensions of symptoms of ADHD and ODD. Children with ever having a physician-diagnosed atopic dermatitis were associated with inattentive and hyperactive–impulsive symptoms of ADHD. Ever diagnosed asthma was associated with ADHD and ODD. Ever diagnosed allergic rhinitis was associated with inattentive and combined symptoms of ADHD and ODD.

Conclusion: Children with allergic diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, and allergic rhinitis, were associated with exhibiting ADHD and ODD.

Read the abstract here

Traditional skin tests used to predict allergies to antibiotics are useless, say researchers

ScienceDaily. Published online: 7th April 2016.

Skin tests traditionally used to predict allergies to amoxicillin, one of the most commonly prescribed antibiotics in children, are ineffective according to a new study led by a team at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) in Montreal. The findings, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics this week, determined that oral provocation or challenge test, with appropriate follow up, was a more efficient and safer screening method for diagnosing non-life threatening reactions to amoxicillin in children.

Provocation or challenge (PC) tests are performed with the suspected allergen (for example pollen, food or drug) which involves gradual introduction of the allergen to the patient. Challenge tests are performed in a hospital or clinic, where any serious reactions can be safely managed.

Up to 10 per cent of children develop rashes while on antibiotics. “The majority are diagnosed without further evaluation as allergic to the implicated antibiotic,” explains Dr. Ben-Shoshan who is also a researcher from the Infectious Diseases and Immunity in Global Health Program of the RI-MUHC. “Most of the patients continue to avoid the suspect antibiotic in favor of alternatives which may be less effective, more toxic, and more expensive.”

Read the full commentary here

Read the original research abstract here