Having The Keiki Tested For Allergies

Kaimana with Dr. Jeffrey Kam. Photo from Tannya Joaquin

Kaimana with Dr. Jeffrey Kam. Photo from Tannya Joaquin

There’s nothing worse for a parent than to see your child suffer.

It’s bad enough when they come down with a 24-hour bug. When they have allergies, you can feel helpless watching your little one deal with the effects.

Statistics prove it’s a problem for more families in the United States today. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), food allergies for children climbed by 50 percent nationwide from 1997 to 2011.

The CDC found eczema and other skin allergies affect one in eight children. That’s an increase of 69 percent. Hay fever and other respiratory allergies have stayed the same nationally.

Straub pediatric allergy specialist Dr. Jeffrey Kam has seen a rise in children here in Hawaii fighting allergies. In his words, ”It’s the vog.”

Lately, my son has been sneezing nonstop and his nose is like a faucet – especially when he first wakes up. My daughter’s eczema has definitely flared up, too.

Unfortunately for them, they take after me. I used to wheeze, sneeze and rub my eyes all the time. Every morning, I would set a new record for consecutive sneezes. I think I once counted 20 in a row. I would rub my eyes so much, it would look like I had been out bar hopping or something.

I finally decided enough was enough and made an appointment for an allergy test with Dr. Kam. We went through a whole battery of tests and discovered what triggered my issues.

In my case, I’m allergic to grass, dust mites, cockroaches and cat dander. This explains a lot – why I would always sneeze like crazy on the golf course or around cats, and my lifelong aversion to cleaning because it would truly make me sick.

Knowing is half the battle because you can avoid some of the triggers and treat the others.

After another morning of my son’s sneezing attack and a sleepless night for my itchy daughter, I decided it was time to get them tested, too.

Previous tests pinpointed a mild soy allergy for my daughter, but she tested negative for many common culprits, such as peanuts. We never would have suspected strawberries as a cause for hives, but after a bad breakout, we’re now looking into that possibility. My son’s symptoms are strictly related to environmental triggers, so we’re looking at factors such as grass, dust mites and pets.

I would highly recommend other parents test their children for allergies, Obviously, it can be rough to see their blood drawn, but if you can learn what’s causing their suffering, it’s worth it.