DENVER (CBS4) – More than five million children, two kids in every classroom, have an allergy to at least one food. Now, researchers at National Jewish Health have found that children born in the fall are at higher risk for allergic diseases.

Those researchers are now working to determine why that is and how to stop it.

(credit: CBS)

Anthony Tampubolon loves basketball, football and soccer. He’s an active teenager, but his early years were a struggle.

“My face started being itchy. Every time I scratched it, always blood comes out,” Anthony told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Anthony had severe eczema.

(credit: Srie Gulton)

“From 1 year old to 3 years old was the worst time for him,” explained Srie Gulton, his mother.

Anthony developed allergies to milk and eggs, fish and more.

“My face would become bumpy and not feel good,” explained the 13 year old.

Hay fever and asthma followed. Anthony was born on Oct. 5, 2007.

It turns out, when it comes to allergies, entering the world in the fall may be a factor.

“Children born in the fall are at higher risk of developing allergic conditions,” said Dr. Jessica Hui, allergy and immunology at National Jewish Health.

Hui led a study looking at more than 15,000 patients, every child treated in the National Jewish clinic over 10 years.

(credit: CBS)

“‘Why?’ is the million dollar question,” said Hui.

Now Hui is studying pregnant woman and their babies up to a year to see what is happening between the summer and the fall.

“These huge extremes of temperature we see in the fall,” said Hui, “are likely playing a role in our skin health.”

Researchers are sampling the skin of the mothers and babies in the clinical trial. They want to see if factors like the environment, medications and genetics, even household products, weaken that first line of defense against allergens and bacteria.

They hope, eventually, children won’t have to suffer like Anthony has and researchers will discover how to prevent the chain reaction of allergic diseases.

LINK: National Jewish

Kathy Walsh

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