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More Scarborough children are developing allergies, but a new clinic at Rouge Valley Health System’s Centenary campus can save them and their parents a trip to downtown Toronto.

The pediatric allergy clinic at Centenary is a first of its kind in the Central East Local Health Integration Network, a territory that includes Scarborough and points as far as Peterborough and Haliburton.

Since certain tests – seeing whether a child has outgrown a peanut allergy, for instance – could provoke an anaphylactic reaction, such as a clinic is the safest place to do tem, Dr. Audrey Segal, a pediatric allergist and one of the clinic’s three physicians.

Community allergists don’t have the same resources, so young patients from Scarborough and Durham Region had been referred to The Hospital for Sick Children, which can have a long wait list. The Centenary clinic, which opened in June, can see local patients much quicker, Segal said.

The clinic started seeing patients in June, mainly from Scarborough and Durham Region.

Over the last few decades, there has been a large increase of food and environmental allergies in Children. Segal said there are theories about what is responsible – such as changes in diet or hygiene – but no one knows for certain.

Any physician can refer a child to the clinic, which offers tests to help determine allergies, assessment and management of allergies and allergic reactions to medicines, antibiotics and vaccines, as well as less common conditions.

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