Understanding childhood allergies with the experts from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Ted Kelbel, MD

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD)- Research shows that 1 in 13 children in the U.S. have some sort of allergy and those numbers are on the rise.  Dr. Ted Kelbel of Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, specializing in allergies and immunology, sat down with Terri to discuss what important information adults need to know on this topic.

How common are childhood allergies?
– Can range from environmental triggers to food allergies
– About 20-30 percent of kids have environmental allergies
– About 10 percent of kids have asthma
– 1 in 13 children in the US have some sort of food allergy (3 kids or less in a classroom)
– All of them are on the rise

How do you know if your child has environmental allergies?
– Most common symptom is nasal congestion and ear infections

What are some symptoms of food allergies?
– Hives, rash, mouth swelling, difficulty breathing/swallowing

When is it time to see a specialist?
– Early identification is very important for treatment, especially with food allergies
– Can lead to other serious health concerns if left untreated
– With food allergies, it is important to get under control – can lead to anaphylaxis


Pediatric Allergy and Immunology
35 Michigan Street NE, Suite 3003
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Phone: 616.267.8150