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Children's Risk of Seasonal Allergies May Increase After Year of Lockdowns

Leeda.the.Paladin

Well-Known Member
Allergy season has officially kicked off in the U.S., especially in the warmer, southern states. If you have kids, you may be noticing they're sneezing, coughing and rubbing their eyes more than they have in allergy seasons past. That is may be because a year spent more indoors than in previous years has made them more vulnerable to pollen-related allergies.

Children need some exposure to the plethora of viruses, bacteria, and allergens that exist in the world in order for their immune systems to learn how to fight them. The longer they go without this exposure, the less information their systems will have to identify and mitigate dangerous microbes when they enter the body.

“The immune system is a learning device, and at birth it resembles a computer with hardware and software but few data. Additional data must be supplied during the first years of life, through contact with micro-organisms from other humans and the natural environment," wrote researchers in a study published in Prospectives of Public Health in 2016. "If these inputs are inadequate or inappropriate, the regulatory mechanisms of the immune system can fail. As a result, the system attacks not only harmful organisms which cause infections but also innocuous targets such as pollen, house dust and food allergens resulting in allergic diseases."

(MORE: Dogs Can Have Seasonal Allergies, Too)

According to the study, allergic diseases like asthma, hay fever and eczema have increased exponentially over the last century, and researchers proposed that is directly linked to reduced microbial exposure at a young age. Even before the pandemic, children were spending a great deal more time indoors than previous generations largely because of access to smart devices for entertainment and learning. The need to stay indoors and avoid social interactions this past year to prevent the spread of COVID-19 may have exacerbated the negative effects of that, which include an elevated susceptibility to allergens.



(Getty Images/Maskot)
Increased urbanization, aka families living in concrete jungles were there is less exposure to allergens, also contributes to more allergen-vulnerable children and adults. But it's this unprecedented, prolonged isolation and over-attention to sanitizing that has immunologists' attention. "The youngest among us have had their immunological development compromised for one year and growing," wrote Byram Bridle, Professor of Viral Immunology at the University of Guelph for The Conversation. "The more immature the immune system is, the more prone it will be to becoming dysregulated during the pandemic."
As a result, those who were six and under during the pandemic may have to live with a higher than average rate of seasonal allergies for the foreseeable future.
 

Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
I mean.... :look:

But in all honesty I’m not here for blaming that on COVID. We’ve been a concrete jungle society. Black kids have struggled with opportunities for fresh air and sunshine for years due to a lack of safe environments. Have they controlled for trash parents that allow their kids to exist on Fortnight and GTA? Just bc I used the pandemic to exercise my fullest disdain from humanity livin’ my best recluse life doesn’t mean I saw the rest of my fellow humans complying with Fauci, CDC, and the WHO guidelines. :rolleyes: People were perfectly capable of existing out doors and getting fresh fully pollinated air socially distanced to stimulate those good immunoglobulins. Let’s just call it for what it is- most folk do what they want and in this case many chose not to. :rolleyes:
 
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Everything Zen

Well-Known Member
Nope- I fell asleep in the middle of what I wrote trying to give this article a chance, reread that mess I wrote and double down this morning.
 
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Leeda.the.Paladin

Well-Known Member
I mean.... :look:

But in all honesty I’m not here for blaming that on COVID. We’ve been a concrete jungle society. Black kids have struggled with opportunities for fresh air and sunshine for years due to safe environments. Have they controlled for trash parents that allow their kids to exist on Fortnight and GTA? Just bc I used the pandemic to exercise my fullest disdain from humanity livin’ my best recluse life doesn’t mean I saw the rest of my fellow humans complying with Fauci, CDC, and the WHO guidelines. :rolleyes: People were perfectly capable of existing out doors and getting fresh fully pollinated air socially distanced to stimulate those good immunoglobulins. Let’s just call it for what it is- most folk do what they want and in this case many chose not to

I mean.... :look:
But in all honesty I’m not here for blaming that on COVID. We’ve been a concrete jungle society. Black kids have struggled with opportunities for fresh air and sunshine for years due to a lack of safe environments. Have they controlled for trash parents that allow their kids to exist on Fortnight and GTA? Just bc I used the pandemic to exercise my fullest disdain from humanity livin’ my best recluse life doesn’t mean I saw the rest of my fellow humans complying with Fauci, CDC, and the WHO guidelines. :rolleyes: People were perfectly capable of existing out doors and getting fresh fully pollinated air socially distanced to stimulate those good immunoglobulins. Let’s just call it for what it is- most folk do what they want and in this case many chose not to. :rolleyes:
i get what you are saying and it’s largely true.
However I had a few years of my childhood where my only outside time was at school or if my parent happened to take me to a park. Some parents are doing the best they can. And for some kids, school provides them the opportunity to fill in the gaps, so to speak, for what might be missing at home (


There are parks here that have been closed for a year. There are some schools that have been all virtual.


The article also mentions the lack of exposure to viruses and other germs, so it’s not just pollen we are talking about here.
 

yamilee21

Well-Known Member
My kids have had plenty of outdoor time during the pandemic; the biggest change for them, besides not going places other than the store, has been not riding public transportation. One of my kids has always had horrible eczema, and it has completely cleared up in the past year. Otherwise, they have rarely been sick anyway - never more than one minor cold or stomach bug a year. I’m hearing a lot about people suggesting we continue to wear masks during the colder weather, etc., and I wonder what that will mean for the future.
 
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