Indiana News

Anaphylaxis in Children on the Rise


Health officials are seeing a rise in an allergic reaction called anaphylactic shock among children.


Dr. Frederick Leickly, Director of Pediatric Allergy Clinical Services at James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, says the cause of the rise in anaphylactic shock cases is due to a rise in more children with allergies.  Leickly says anaphylactic shock is a total body reaction to an allergen.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says food allergies are the leading cause of anaphylaxis but Dr. Leickly says medications, insect stings and even exercise have been known to cause it.

The The CDC says food allergies in children have risen 18-percent since 1997 and more than nine thousand children are hospitalized each year because of severe food allergies.  Leickly says sometimes, anaphylaxis can be idiopathic, meaning an exact trigger isn't known.  He says the condition can be life-threatening.

Leickly says it's not known for sure what's causing the rise in children with allergies but some theories suggest it's due to people not allowing their immune systems to naturally evolve against allergies.


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