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Kids’ food, skin allergies on rise

– Parents are reporting more skin and food allergies in their children, a government survey found.

Experts aren’t sure what’s behind the increase. Could it be that children are growing up in households so clean that it leaves them more sensitive to things that can trigger allergies? Or are mom and dad paying closer attention to rashes and reactions, and more likely to call it an allergy?

“We don’t really have the answer,” said Dr. Lara Akinbami of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and senior author of the report being released today.

The CDC survey suggests that about 1 in 20 U.S. children have food allergies. That’s a 50 percent increase from the late 1990s. For eczema and other skin allergies, it’s 1 in 8 children, an increase of 69 percent. It found no increase, however, in hay fever or other respiratory allergies.

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