Allergies and Asthma

Allergies and asthma affect many school aged children. Children with both of these conditions should have an action plan for what to do in an emergency. Click here for a sample asthma plan and here for a sample allergy plan. 

Allergy Facts and Figures (from website)

An allergy is when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. It could be something you eat, inhale into your lungs, inject into your body or touch. This reaction could cause coughing, sneezing, itchy eyes, a runny nose and a scratchy throat. In severe cases, it can cause rashes, hives, low blood pressure, breathing trouble, asthma attacks and even death.

There is no cure for allergies. You can manage allergies with prevention and treatment. More Americans than ever say they suffer from allergies. It is among the country’s most common, but overlooked, diseases.

How Many People Do Allergies Affect?

  • Researchers think nasal allergies affect about 50 million people in the United States.4
  • Allergies are increasing. They affect as many as 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children.1
  • Allergies are the 6th leading cause of chronic illness in the U.S.1

How Many People Get Sick from Allergies?

  • Allergic conditions are the most common health issues affecting children in the U.S.11
  • In 2015, 8.2% of adults and 8.4% of children were diagnosed with hay fever.2
  • People visit the emergency room about 200,000 times each year because of food allergies. Almost 10,000 people stay in the hospital each year because of food allergies.12

How Common Are Food Allergies?

Children have food allergies more often than adults. Eight foods cause most food allergy reactions. They are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish.

  • Peanut is the most common allergen followed by milk and shelfish.3
  • In 2015, 4.2 million children in the US have food allergies.2
  • In 2014, 5.4% of US children under age 18 suffered from food allergies.1

[1] American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Allergy Facts. (Retrieved September 14 2017)

[2] CDC. National Center for Health Statistics. FastStats: Allergies and Hay Fever. (Retrieved September 14 2017)

[3] American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. Allergy Statistics. (Retrieved September 14 2017)

[4] Wood R, Camargo C, Lieberman P, etc. Anaphylaxis in America: the prevalence and characteristics of anaphylaxis in the United States. J Allergy Clin Immunol. Feb 2014; 133(2): 461-7. Doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2013.08.016. (Retrieved August 18 2017)

[11] CDC. Healthy Schools. Food Allergies in Schools. (Retrieved September 15 2017)

[12] Clark S, Espinola J, Rudders S, etc. Frequency of US emergency department visits of food-related acute allergic reactions. J Allergy Clin Immunol. March 2011. (Retrieved September 15 2017)


Asthma Facts and Figures (From website)

Asthma causes swelling of the airways. This results in narrowing of the airways that carry air from the nose and mouth to the lungs. Allergens or irritating things entering the lungs trigger asthma symptoms. Symptoms include trouble breathing, wheezing, coughing and tightness in the chest. In severe cases, asthma can be deadly.

  • There is no cure for asthma, but asthma can be managed with proper prevention and treatment.
  • More Americans than ever before have asthma. It is one of this country's most common and costly diseases.

How Common Is Asthma?

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 13 people have asthma.1
  • About 25 million Americans have asthma. This is 7.6 percent of adults and 8.4 percent of children. Asthma has been increasing since the early 1980s in all age, sex and racial groups.3
  • Asthma is the leading chronic disease in children. It is also the top reason for missed school days.6
  • Asthma is more common in adult women than adult men.1
  • Asthma is more common in children than adults and more common in boys than girls.1
  • Currently, there are 6.2 million people with asthma under the age of 18.3
  • African-Americans in the US die from asthma at a higher rate than people of other races or ethnicities.4
  • More than 11.5 million people with asthma, including nearly 3 million children, report having had one or more asthma attacks in 2015.4
  • In 2015, 1 in 12 children had asthma.4
  • In 2013, about 13.8 million missed school days were reported due to asthma.4

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma. (Retrieved August 18 2017)

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma-related Missed School Days among Children aged 5–17 Years. (Retrieved August 18 2017)

[3] National Center for Health Statistics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Asthma. (Retrieved August 18 2017)

[4] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Asthma Facts. May 2017. (Retrieved August 18 2017)