RANCHO MIRAGE —  Do you think your child might suffer from an allergy, but have not him or her tested out of concern about the cost?

Well, your worries are over.

Eisenhower Health is hosting  free allergy testing on Saturday, Oct. 13 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Annenberg Health Sciences Building. Participants must be 4 years of age or older, and must not be taking beta blockers. Screenings will be performed Dr. David J. Waldman, a board certified allergist/immunologist.

You may call 760-423-4855 to RSVP or for more information.

If you simply do not know if your child has an allergy, consider these statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s public health agency. Figures are for the United States

  • Number with reported hay fever in the past 12 months: 5.5 million
  • Percent with reported hay fever allergy in the past 12 months: 7.5 percent
  • Number with reported respiratory allergy in the past 12 months: 7.6 million
  • Percent with reported respiratory allergies in the past 12 months: 10.3%
  • Number with reported food allergies in the past 12 months: 4.5 million
  • Percent with a reported food allergy in the past 12 months: 6.2 percent
  • Number with reported skin allergies in the past 12 months: 8.9 million
  • Percent with reported skin allergies in the past 12 months: 12.1 percent

Since allergies are a chronic condition, some people begin to think it is normal to have symptoms, and simply live with the problem. “The fact is these conditions can be controlled and should not negatively affect any adult’s or child’s quality of life,” Waldman said in a prepared statement. “We can find ways to treat the disease without having to rely forever on medications. The first step is to identify the root cause of the problem.”

Parents are encouraged to bring their children age 4 and older as studies show nearly 20 percent of school-age children have allergies, according to Waldman.

“Not only is a child’s school attendance affected, but the child may also become affected socially, athletically and academically,” Waldman said.

Screenings will include skin testing of 14 to 15 common pollens in the Coachella Valley following the completion of a brief questionnaire about previous medical and allergy history, symptoms and current medications. During the 20-minute wait for results, Waldman will discuss seasonal allergy issues and provide informative literature for parents.

In addition to identifying people who might be at risk for allergies, the screening program provides an opportunity for those who already know they have at least one allergy to speak with Waldman about their condition and how best control it.