updated 28 Oct 2011, 10:20
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New Childhood Allergy Book Offers Relief Support for Parents

Does your child have asthma or is constantly sneezing, itching or having a blocked nose? Childhood allergies, asthma and eczema are now common in Singapore but do you know how to recognise signs and how to treat them?

Dr Dawn Lim is a Singapore- based paediatrician who has a special interest in Paediatric Allergy and has written Childhood Allergies, a must-have guide for any parent.

Easy-to-read with comprehensive information on five of the most common allergies and their triggers, the book takes parents through every step in helping to manage their child's allergies.

From getting diagnosed, to managing allergies at home and outside Childhood Allergies is filled with quick checklists to help parents keep track.

Speaking from her practice at the Kinder Clinic at Paragon Medical, Dr Lim explains that she has seen an increasing number of patients presenting allergic symptoms: "Over the last decade, there has been a huge rise in allergic disorders.

However, many people just don't realise that their child's illness may be due to allergies."

"Many of the parents that I see have tried a range of self-help medications that don't alleviate the symptoms because they have not correctly identified the allergen. Once we identify it and start treatment, the child usually improves enormously. The task then is to educate parent, caregiver and the child on what they can do at home and outside to reduce their exposure and risk," she continued.

"I wrote this book because many of the parents that I see have the same questions - what can they do to prevent allergic symptoms and how can they deal with them."

Published by Marshall Cavendish Childhood Allergies contains a number of patient life stories and has a special focus on allergens and triggers found in Asia.

One child - Bryan- from the age of six developed an irritating cough that didn't go away regardless of medications. After a while he developed further symptoms including blocked nose, sneezing and rubbing his eyes. Allergy tests revealed that he was allergic to dust mites and following a combination of medication and at home measures he is now doing very well.

The book also contains a section on immunotherapy - a treatment that desensitises an allergic person to the allergens which cause the allergic reaction.

Six-year-old Julia is a patient who turned to allergen immunotherapy. Having had severe allergic rhinitis requiring multiple medications, she got tested for allergies and started immunotherapy, and now she no longer needs multiple medications. Her mother "Magdalen said: "Julia developed a really stuffy, itchy nose and was frequently sneezing which interrupted her daily routine from school to sleeping at night. It got so bad that she would be constantly tired and had to take lots of medications at the maximum dose to get any relief. "

"Dr Lim suggested allergy testing and after we had identified the trigger, we started her on immunotherapy treatment. It's made an enormous difference to the point where she is a happy, energetic little girl that doesn't require any medications. I wish we had done it sooner!"

The book is priced S$35 and is available now from all major bookstores.

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