Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sickest Generation?

I saw this article last week, "Are Our Kids the Sickest Generation", and I've been bothered by this a lot. My daughter has a peanut allergy, one nephew has asthma and food allergies, another nephew has a nut allergy, other friends have kids with eczema and food allergies, a colleague's son has ADHD, and a friend's toddler now has autism.

What is going on?

The only person I ever knew with a peanut allergy was my friend Jim in college. Now, my daughter has 4 kids in the 1st grade who sit at the Peanut Allergy table at lunch. My sister had eczema when she was a child, but it took years to diagnose it and she felt ostracized by it. Now, I've seen many children with patches of eczema and mothers concerned about giving medicated creams to their toddlers.

I'm not sure what's going on. It makes me angry because I know as parents, we did everything "right" during pregnancy. We stayed away from alcohol, second-hand smoke, caffeine, tuna fish, and brie. Peanut butter was a good source of protein for vegetarians. We drank milk for the protein and calcium to help our babies grow. Now our babies have milk allergies and need to have rice and soy milk.

At first I felt this is an era of better diagnosis. Adults are happy to realize they've been lactose intolerant all these years. However, the incidence level is alarming.

I don't know why this is happening, but it angers and hurts me. And, maybe there's guilt too because our foremost instinct is protect our children first. Our children are suffering because of this. There have been cases of death from allergic reactions because of hidden allergens. I read an article from Today Show and now I wonder what's wrong with me for not carrying the epi-pen with me every time we go to the mall. My vigilance for my daughter is extra high this time of year as we have to monitor all candy (Reese's and Snickers are out! Peanut M&M's scare me the most because they can be mixed in a bowl with regular ones). My daughter is attentive herself and has been questioning candy/snacks since she was 3 years old. As parents, we have to take the extra step and question restaurants whether they use peanut oil in their cooking. I learned Chik-Fil-A and Cheeburger Cheeburger use peanut oil for frying.

We don't live near toxic waste plants. Maybe there are power lines that are too close? I've read theories about ultrasounds disrupting fetus development. There is also mention of the environmental chemical overload and even microwaves. Friends and family who have children in India do not have any of these issues.

Obviously, we will all learn to deal with these physical and mental health concerns on a day to day basis. I can only hope we can stop or isolate the cause.


Anonymous said...

My son vomited while coughing and he was diagnosed with GERD and was on zantac. Then my sis mentioned, if her daughter coughs a lot on full stomach, it leads to her inevitable vomitting, when she has a cold. Then i started to notice that, that was the case with T and stopped him on zantac and stopped stuffing him esp when he had a cold/cough. That reduced the incidents dramatically. Also i feel the dr.s are pressured by medical companies and they are on pacts and this winter it is one medication, the next winter , it is a totally different medication they recommend. So they are in cohorts, pushing the drugs of the pharmaceutical companies. Not sure, how much my theory is true, but i kinda think it might be true to a small extent and not entirely untrue. Also the cancer rates and everything has gone up and i feel plastics and microwaves are the source of modern day evil, just like asbestos was, once upon a time.

Anonymous said...

And they practically dont have ear infections in India, atleast the kids.

Anonymous said...

i've also noticed when I travel abroad my allergies clear up - and most of the countries I travel too are developing countries where the pollution is high so it's always a mystery - I wonder what it is here ....

oh and sorry for the snickers and the reeses!! I should have asked frist - I guess I take it for granted that none of the nieces and nephews have allergies and I didn't remember you mentioning it!


Anonymous said...

Apple - don't worry about it!! :-)

TAAMom - A lot of people believe that drs are overprescribing. If you feel your dr is doing that, you should change. I feel that way with the pediatric practice we go to. Dr. B is always giving antibiotics. Dr P is calmer and says see what happens in one week.

BTW - I went to a class b'day party yesterday. One mom brought her own cupcakes for her son -- all 3 of her kids have peanut allergy. (Sigh)

ZenDenizen said...

I remember working with a lady who used to relish eating PB&J sandwiches at work because she couldn't keep any at home due to her kids' allergies...

Anonymous said...

Zen - that's me and my husband. We keep peanut snacks at work. However, we have to re-examine that decision now.

This week he had a bit of a peanut granola bar at 5:30. He came home at 7 and gave her big hugs and kisses. In 15 min, she had red rash over her cheeks! We gave her Benedryl.

This is ultra scary now that it's not just her who can't consume, anyone who consumes AND interacts with her can cause a reaction

Anonymous said...

My daughter has peanut allergy and I didn't know Chik-Fil-a uses peanut oil! Thanks for that very useful info! and no, I don't trust the doctors either. The doc had prescribed cortisone creams for her cradle cap when she was a baby[it was very bad and oozing, too!] I used olive oil on her head and the cradle cap disappeared in a matter of days. Since the doc is NOT 100% sure why the allergies happen, I don't blindly follow his diagnosis unless my daughter is in obvious distress.