Report indicates alarming increase in children's allergy rate

A new government report says allergies have increased in children at an alarming rate over the last 15 years.

And it's not just food - doctors are hearing more concerns from parents about skin allergies like eczema in their children. The report today from the CDC says 1 in 20 American kids have food allergies - a 50% increase since 1997.

One in 12 have skin allergies, nearly a 70% increase.

"I don't think we completely know the absolute one reason why it's increasing. We're seeing more of these allergic conditions. So, certainly, if you have a genetic family history, then those patients are at higher risk for developing food allergies or eczema," said Dr. David Fleischer with National Jewish Health.

Some doctors suspect children are growing up in homes so clean from anti-bacterial cleaners that they may be becoming more sensitive. Although researchers say it is possible that parents today are simply more vigilant about getting their kids tested.

The study finds that as kids grow up, the skin allergies do become less common, but respiratory allergies become a greater concern with more hay fever and other irritations.

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