Children with milk allergy may be 'allergic to school'

May 2, 2013, American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology

Many of today's school teachers opt for dustless chalk to keep hands and classrooms clean. But according to a study published in the May issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), this choice in chalk may cause allergy and asthma symptoms in students that have a milk allergy.

Casein, a milk protein, is often used in low-powder chalk. When milk allergic inhale chalk particles containing casein, life-threatening asthma attacks and other respiratory issues can occur.

"Chalks that are labeled as being anti-dust or dustless still release small particles into the air," said Carlos H. Larramendi, MD, lead study author. "Our research has found when the particles are inhaled by children with milk allergy, coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath can occur. Inhalation can also cause nasal congestion, sneezing and a runny nose."

Milk allergy affects an estimated 300,000 children in the United States, according to the ACAAI. Although it has been believed the majority of children will outgrow milk allergy by age three, recent studies contradict this theory, showing school aged children are still affected. However, 80 percent of children with will likely outgrow it by age 16.

"Chalk isn't the only item in a school setting that can be troublesome to milk allergic students," said James Sublett, MD, chair of the ACAAI Indoor Environment Committee. "Milk proteins can also be found in glue, paper, ink, and in other children's lunches."

Even in the wake of whiteboards, overhead projectors and tablets, chalk is a classroom staple that likely won't become extinct anytime soon. Parents with milk allergic children should ask to have their child seated in the back of the classroom where they are less likely to inhale chalk dust, advises Sublett.

"Teachers should be informed about foods and other triggers that might cause health problems for children," said Sublett. "A plan for dealing with allergy and emergencies should also be shared with teachers, coaches and the nurse. Children should also carry allergist prescribed epinephrine, inhalers or other life-saving medications."

Explore further: End your child's allergy suffering within three years

Related Stories

End your child's allergy suffering within three years

October 1, 2012
When children suffer from dust mite induced allergies and asthma, finding relief can seem impossible. While there isn't a complete cure for childhood respiratory allergies, researchers have found that long term control of ...

An egg a day to keep allergies away

November 9, 2012
Avoiding sweet treats like pumpkin bread and cookies this holiday season might not be necessary for children with egg allergies. New studies presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual ...

Have asthma? You likely have an allergy as well

April 2, 2013
Asthma is becoming an epidemic in the United States. The number of Americans diagnosed with asthma grows annually, with 26 million currently affected. And according to a new study, nearly two-thirds or more of all asthmatics ...

Geographic factors can cause allergies, asthma

February 4, 2013
Those living near the equator may find themselves sneezing and wheezing more than usual. And the reason may not be due to increasing pollen counts. According to a new study released today, in the February issue of Annals ...

Socioeconomic status linked to childhood peanut allergy

November 9, 2012
Peanut allergies are rising among American children and one reason might be due to economic status. According to a new study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, ...

Foods with baked milk may help build tolerance in children with dairy allergies

July 1, 2011
Introducing increasing amounts of foods that contain baked milk into the diets of children who have milk allergies helped a majority of them outgrow their allergies, according to a study conducted at Mount Sinai School of ...

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.