A new Report available early April has concluded that the traditional School Sports Day held in June on a grassy playing field could trigger an attack of hay fever or even asthma in susceptible children. The author, Professor Jean Emberlin, a leading expert in aeroallergens and hay fever states that “for children, hockey, rounders, gymnastics and PE on grass can all make hay fever symptoms worse.” This is because physical activity increases respiratory rates leading to increased inhalation of pollen and spores. Hay fever symptoms can be triggered within minutes and the effects can last for around 24 hours, even when the child has returned indoors. This increase in symptoms is likely to interfere with school work.
The Report “Hay fever and sport: children, teenagers and adult general public” recommends that:
• Grass and weeds near school playing fields need to be cut and grass cuttings should not be kept near play grounds and playing fields
• Shady areas need to be provided as children with itchy, runny eyes are more sensitive to bright sunlight
• Low allergen refuges should be provided to give children some respite on high pollen count days
Adults taking part in outdoor sports are also vulnerable to hay fever, particularly those taking part in sports played on grass like football, cricket, rugby, cross country running and equestrian events.
The Report was commissioned by Care Allergy Defence (a drug-free clinically proven nasal spray, which can both treat and prevent hay fever) and will be available to download from 8th April 2011 at: http://www.allergydefence.co.uk
Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and spores. The symptoms include frequent sneezing, runny nose and itchy eyes. If untreated, hay fever leads to tiredness, decreased concentration and lower educational performance. It may also develop into asthma. The highest prevalence rates in the UK are in the younger age groups with up to 38% of teenagers being affected (one of the highest hay fever rates in the world). An estimated 2.2 million children in the UK are affected by hay fever:
• 6-9 year olds – 484,000 children
• 10-14 year olds – 944,600 children
• 15-18 year olds – 810,700 children
Further press information is available from:
Jane Stevenson 07733266341 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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