Why the Rise in Allergies and Asthma in Children

Many schools nowadays are struggling to keep up with the variety of severe food allergies and asthma attacks they are starting to see pop up.  While peanut allergies seem commonplace now, just a decade ago most schools has peanuts and there were no bans on nuts products.  As children develop more intolerances and life threatening allergies and asthma, we have to wonder why? 

In any given school in the United States, you may see some of the best medical ID bracelets on multiple children.  This is a vision that no one would have had just a generation earlier and most parents are scratching their heads to try and find the link.  When asking allergists, there is a lot of uncertainty as to the actual reason.  As an allergy sufferer, I have been fascinated to try and find its cause.  How is it that some children grow out of allergies and others into allergies?  How is it that some children simply cannot consume what they are allergic to while others could die by simply touching or breathing it in?

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Our genes can play a part, but there are other environmental factors influencing our allergies.  In my research, I came upon something called the hygiene hypothesis.  This came out of studies conducted in both Germany and Britain.  They looked at children that were exposed to more bacteria and infections at a young age and compared them to those that were not.  The group that was exposed had little to no sign of allergies or asthma.  However, the group that was not exposed had high rates of allergies and asthma.

This got me thinking.  As I continued to search for information, I found studies that came out of Europe in the late 1990s that confirmed children who grew up on farms were significantly less likely to develop allergies and asthma.  This confirms that if a baby is exposed, the body will be better equipped to handle any situation.