Allergy Testing for Kids: Where to Find Help

Pediatric ENT of Atlanta (PENTA) offers Pediatric Allergy Testing to address common allergies. A skin test, when combined with an examination, is the best approach to diagnose and treat allergies. This cost-effective test helps identify the symptoms, the triggers, and the best treatment.

What are allergies?

Allergies occur when a foreign substance or allergen comes in contact with the body. Allergens include pollen, insects, animals, dust, stress, medications, food, chemicals, or plants.

What are allergic symptoms?

The immune system reacts to allergens by triggering a symptom. Symptoms may include the following:

  • sneezing
  • running nose
  • itching
  • redness
  • hives
  • watering eyes
  • headaches
  • restlessness
  • breathing difficulty
  • stomach pain
  • digestive changes
  • vomiting

Allergic reactions are unique and characterized from minor to severe, including life-threatening.

Understand the triggers.

Understanding what triggers the allergic reaction is important to treat the child. Testing includes 50 area airborne allergens and 20 non-inhalant foods. Tests include dust mites, pet hair, dander, trees, grass, weeds, pollen, molds, cockroach droppings, and foods.

How do you test for allergens?

A skin test is a painless way to test your child’s sensitivity to allergens. Plastic testing strips, placed on the back or arms, help identify an allergic response to each allergen.

How doctors treat allergies.

Sometimes, the best treatment for allergies is simple avoidance of a known allergen. In other cases, doctors may prescribe medications, sprays, or an over-the-counter (OTC) recommendation.

​Will health insurance pay for allergy testing and treatment?

Most health insurance plans offer coverage for tests and medication. While every health insurance policy is unique, a small co-payment is customary. We are happy to verify benefits and provide an estimate of out-of-pocket costs in advance.

How to schedule an allergy test for your child.

1. Visit and complete the Allergy Questionnaire.

2.Your Patient Care Representative will contact you to schedule a consultation at one of our 9 area locations.

3. The allergy test is conveniently scheduled and preparation instructions are provided.

4. A provider reviews the results and schedules a follow-up appointment. During the appointment, the medical provider will discuss treatment options.

About Pediatric ENT of Atlanta (PENTA)

Pediatric ENT of Atlanta is one of the leading pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat providers in the nation.

We provide expert clinical care through our board-certified, fellowship-trained pediatric specialists, physicians, and head and neck surgeons. We treat common to complex ear, nose, and throat conditions for newborn patients to patients entering early adulthood.

We operate nine-area locations including four Rapid ENT Care Centers staffed by pediatric providers of physician’s assistants and pediatric nurse practitioners. Our pediatric audiology department is the largest in the area. Experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss including hearing tests, hearing aids, and cochlear implantation, we are proud to have served area families since 1987.

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Making Olive Oil Soap in the West Bank

Value-added agricultural products are all around us, but many students aren’t accustomed to thinking about commodity chains and recognizing the agricultural component of a product if it is not directly consumed.  This video about the production of soap in the Palestinian West Bank is an excellent example of an older way of using olive oil and creating what hipsters might refer to as artisanal, craft soap (after watching this one about West Bank soap, you can watch a very similar video about traditional Syrian soap production).  I really like this video for a S.P.E.E.D. (Social, Political, Economic, Environmental, Demographic) / E.S.P.N. (Economic, Social, Political, eNvironmental) type of an activity were you provide/show the resource to the students, and have them identify and then discuss the geographic themes from the given resource.  

I really went down a Youtube rabbit hole with this one, because once you learn about olive oil soap production, you might need to know more about how olive oil is produced.  I’ve really enjoyed TrueFoodTV over the years, and below, I’ve embedded an excellent clip from them that nicely shows the the geographic context of the Mediterranean agricultural region (and if you want some culinary tips on olive oil, I’m officially now out of my depth, but here is a clip from TrueFoodTV).  

GeoEd Tags: culture, place, video, food, food production, Palestine, agriculture.

Picture in Aleppo of traditional olive oil soapmaking.

2020 Census Means Congressional Shake-up

Texas, Florida and North Carolina are among the states that will gain congressional seats based on new population data from the U.S. census, a shift that could boost Republican chances of recapturing the U.S. House of Representatives from Democrats in next year’s midterm elections. The overall U.S. population stood at 331,449,281, the Census Bureau said on Monday, a 7.4% increase over 2010 representing the second-slowest growth of any decade in history. The release of the data, delayed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, sets the stage for a battle over redistricting that could reshape political power in Washington during the next decade. States use the numbers and other census data to redraw electoral maps based on where people have moved.” SOURCE: Reuters

It is constitutionally mandated that the U.S. government conduct a census every ten years.  There are many benefits for all that data, but the original purpose was to allot congressional seats in the House of Representatives.  Today the number is locked in at 435, so as states’ populations grow or (relative to others) shrink, a given state many gain or lose seats in the House.  This ends up being very consequential, especially in a two-party country that is pretty evenly divided.  

New York and California (two of the largest states with the most seats) are the most upset since they are seeing their relative political power in the House of Representatives wane for the first time in decades while Texas is smiling big with 2 added seats.  Little Rhode Island is letting out a huge sigh of relief, since it was projected that Rhode Island would be losing 1 of their 2 congressional seats along with federal funding that is attached to that seat.  However, Rhode Island managed to retain their two seats. The census only says how many seats a given state will have, but it is up to the state government to reapportion the districts.  Redistricting can be very contentious and when it gets overtly and unfairly partisan, that’s when regular old redistricting can become gerrymandering.

Things to Consider: What demographic shifts have led to these new political patterns on the map?  Will these shifts lead to gerrymandering?  How will this impact the states gaining (or losing) seats? 

Tags: electoral, gerrymandering, USA, mapping.

Three Tips for Buying Your Dream Home in a Competitive Market

House hunting in a competitive market like Atlanta can be daunting. Home prices are increasing and there are more interested buyers than available homes. When Shermika Bennet, a homeowner in Atlanta, needed more space to accommodate her family, she experienced these challenges firsthand. She found the home of her dreams, but it had four offers in just two days.

If you’re looking to buy a new home this spring or summer, here are three tips to help you present a strong offer and stand out from the crowd.

1. Come in with a strong price—and show you’re serious

Many homes in Atlanta are selling above asking price, so you’ll want to come in with a strong offer. You should also show pre-approval or pre-qualification from your lender. This should include completion of the full loan application, tri-merged credit report, and verified income.

2. Keep your offer as simple as possible

Most offers include contingencies—things like completing inspections and receiving a mortgage commitment—that need to happen for the sale to move forward. But some sellers may see contingencies as opportunities for the deal to fall through. That’s why in a hot market, some buyers may remove them to make their offer more competitive. Just make sure you feel comfortable with the terms.

3.Present an all-cash offer

When sellers are considering multiple bids, an all-cash offer is often more attractive because there is less chance of the transaction falling through. Shermika had heard about Opendoor’s new cash-backed offers program, which makes it possible for anyone to present an all-cash offer to a seller, free of financing, appraisal, and home sale contingencies, even if you need a home loan. She worked with an Opendoor agent to make an offer through the program. Although her bid was $25K less than the asking price, it was more appealing to the seller because of Opendoor’s cash backing—and she won the home.

For busy families like Shermika’s, the traditional way of buying and selling a home doesn’t always meet your needs. Interested in learning more about Opendoor’s cash-backed offers program? Visit

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More Americans Are Leaving Cities, But Don’t Call It an Urban Exodus

A year into the Covid-19 pandemic, after much speculation about emptied downtowns and the prospect of remote work, the clearest picture yet is emerging about how people moved. There is no urban exodus; perhaps it’s more of an urban shuffle. Despite talk of mass moves to Florida and Texas, data shows most people who did move stayed close to where they came from—although Sun Belt regions that were popular even before the pandemic did see gains.” SOURCE: Bloomberg’s CityLab

A year ago, some of the most dire warnings about COVID-19 related migration pointed to the collapse of major metropolitan centers and an existential threat to urbanization as we know it.  True, high density settlements have been heavily impacted but the fears that New York City would cease to be “The City” were a bit overstated.  

Outside of NYC and the Bay Area, most of the migration inside the United States has been WITHIN metropolitan statistical areas, and usually from the more dense core to the outer fringe.  So edge cities, suburbs, exurbs, and micropolitan areas have seen an increase, but many of these moves were simply accelerated by the pandemic. The interactive charts and maps are what make this article an exceptional teaching resource.    

Questions to Ponder: How has your area’s demographic profile changed during the pandemic?  What are the areas of your state that have been most heavily impacted?  When people move from your county, where do they go?  Where do migrants into your county come from?  What patterns do you see and what explains these patterns?  What push and pull factors influence these choices?  

Tags: migration, USA, population.

Redlining and Highways

I do try to keep thing nonpartisan, but sometimes objective truths become partisan issues, and often the study of human geography would have been just the think that would have improved our collective political dialog. Department of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg (a.k.a. Mayor Pete) said “there is racism physically built into some of our highways.” Online detractors noted that rebar, concrete, and asphalt can’t be racist, etc. You see the over-literal interpretation, but I want to discuss his bigger point—how has racism shaped the building of infrastructure and urban landscapes?    

The term redlining has a specific definition and a broader application. First the narrower definition; redlining was a historical practice in the early to mid-20th century where banks and other decision-makers, used city maps with that marked low-income neighborhoods (pre-dominantly African American), and would deny potential home-owners’ loans to purchase in these neighborhoods.  In an era of legalized segregation, where in a bind; they could not move into the white neighborhoods, but they could not get loans to purchase a home in their own neighborhood.  The maps literally used a red line to mark the neighborhoods where the banks would not provide any home-leaning services to the residents.  Explore this fantastic interactive map, Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America. You can use this to find redlining close to your home, or the city where I teach, Providence, RI.

1929 Home Owners Loan Corporation Map of Decatur, IL.

More broadly speaking, redlining is not just about the denial of home loans.  There were many practices such as this that meant African Americans in the United States could not get access to the full range of services, utilities, resources, and planning to see improvements in their neighborhoods.    

The era of redlining also coincided with the era of the private automobile and the beginning of a large freeways on the American landscape.  The major freeways in urban centers weren’t placed on conveniently open spaces, this open space was made by tearing down (typically) poor neighborhoods that had less of a political voice.  African American neighborhoods in Baltimore, Oakland, New York, Detroit, Cincinnati…the list is far too long. Read this piece in the Guardian for some images and examples.

A poster against the creation of proposed highway in Washington DC. Source: DC History

So, when Mayor Pete says that “there is racism physically built into some of our highways,” he means it, and it a part of our historical geography.  The road itself might not be racist, but the institutions that led to its construction in a poor Black neighborhood is, and leaves a legacy on the built environment.  Redlining is obvious illegal today, as would the way old highways were designed, but the neighborhoods they shaped, the communities that the railroad tracks or the highways divide, they still are impacted by these policies of yesteryear.        

New York City urbanists for generations now have adored Jane Jacobs as the champion for local communities, and the one who opposed the evil, neighborhood-destroying urban planner Robert Moses.  This is partially true, but it is a bit simplistic, because hating the one individual (Robert Moses) for creating oppressive elements into the landscape misses the bigger point that he was simply in charge of the system, and if it weren’t for him, their would have been another to take his place.  Let’s use one famous NYC, Robert Moses example of racism in the built landscape:

Images from Long Island, showing bridge overpasses that limit public transportation to beaches.
  • Action: Robert Moses designed Long Island bridges and highways with low overpasses.
  • Result: Long Island beaches are inaccessible through mass transit.
  • Purpose: Limit access of NYC poor from the affluent beaches of Long Island.

What are the implications of these facts?  One single instance of this type of infrastructural planning might look fishy and could be a sign of racial bias, class-based bias, or might even be a coincidence, but the preponderance of evidence all over the country from this era leads to the obvious conclusion that U.S. infrastructure, especially the highways, was shaped by racist decisions and continues to have racial impacts.  The amount of evidence is so overwhelming, that for any honest observer, the conclusion that there were racist decisions that shaped U.S. infrastructure is not even remotely controversial.  See the examples all over the country to get a sense of the pattern, then examine examples in your community to see who these practices have shaped American cities.

GeoEd Tags: race, landscape, urban, political, USA.

Choke points and the Suez Canal

Smooth sailing in logistics is never newsworthy; the media will never report on a non-accident. We take for granted that many transportation and communication systems run in and incredibly efficient manner and the exception proves the rule. The March 2021 accident that shut down the Suez Canal was major news; think about the largest freeway near your community. An accident makes for a huge traffic jam…now but imagine that on the Suez Canal, which facilitates roughly 10% of ALL global trade. This negatively numerous global supply chains and impacted stock markets prices of oil and other commodities as it brought Mediterranean/Indian Ocean trade to an absolute standstill. The critical nature of choke points to the entire system are revealed on the rare occasions when things go wrong. The CNN video in the the tweet below explains the economic ramifications of a choke point “choking off” trade.

Within hours, massive ocean-going vessels had nowhere to go and were loitering around Port Said and Suez (the two ends of the canal), as shown from these screengrabs from a marine-tracking site. This why critical, narrow transportation lanes are called choke points.


The Incident was great for the online meme creators.

Below, is a video that shows the inauguration of the 2015 expansion of the Suez Canal. This gives some solid context for the importance of the Suez Canal. Completed in 1869, with the new expansion the canal is over 200 meters wide and 24 meters deep. This was made to accommodate the largest of the ocean-going vessels, which when turned sideways (as we have learned in this incident) can be over 400 meters and block the entire canal.

Atlanta Science Festival Returns for 2021!

Celebrate and experience all things science! The Atlanta Science Festival is happening now, with more than 80 virtual and in-person events for curious kid and adults. Events are being held through March 27. Visit the Science Festival website for a full schedule, registration information and pricing.

Here are just a few of the exciting in-person and virtual events families can enjoy during the festival:

In-Person Events and Activities

Botanical Mysteries
In this self-led adventure, families become plant scientists to botanical mysteries at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The journey includes five stops where families become plant scientists to solve puzzles and uncover clues. Through March 21, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Discovery Walks
These self-guided walks feature fascinating science stops through some of the coolest neighborhoods in Atlanta. March 20-21, see website for times and locations.

Scavenger Hunts
Explore forests, air quality, math concepts, STEM careers and gardens with these themed self-guided hunts. March 20, 21 and 27, see website for times and locations.

Zoo Seekers
Explore Zoo Atlanta through a new lens – this self-guided discovery program will encourage you to use your senses to uncover the unique ways that zoos participate in saving wildlife and wild places. March 20, 9:30-5:00 p.m.

Virtual Events

The Astronomy of Star Wars
GSU Professor Jay Dunn will lead a discussion on the worlds and aliens of the Star Wars films and compare them with the planets and life in our solar system. Enjoy video clips inspired by Star Wars and other sci-fi favorites along the way!  March 23, 6-7 p.m.

Science Quest Virtual
Uncover Atlanta’s innovations, discoveries and STEM careers by completing missions in this app-based scavenger hunt. Submit photos, videos and text evidence to earn points and win prizes. March 21, 4-6 p.m. and March 27, 9-11 a.m.

Science Jazz Hands
Tune in to catch scientists getting your attention with comedic bits about their research. After the comedy sets, dig deeper into science with interactive Q & A and games. March 23, 8-10 p.m.

Brown Bag Science
An exploration of STEM concepts with live demos and hands-on experiments for grades K-5. Follow along and conduct 3 experiments at home with a Make it and Take it Kit from the Cobb County library system. March 24, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

An online day of STE(A)M education workshops, customized to your interests, followed by a networking fair highlighting more STE(A)M opportunities. March 27, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Visit the Atlanta Science Festival website for a complete list of events.

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Divorce Turkish Style

Divorce—though originally sanctioned more than 1,400 years ago by Islamic law—is still widely viewed in Muslim societies as a subversive act that breaks up the family. Women who seek divorce can often find themselves ostracized and treated as immoral. Despite such taboos and restrictions, however, divorce rates are rising across Islamic countries, even in ua-conservative places like Afghanistan.” SOURCE: NY Book Review

This is a difficult subject to discuss in the classroom, but it hits as many of the important cultural norms that surround social interactions that are gender-based. Cultural norms explore more than just the legal rights that people many have, but they also look at the cultural expectations, and the communal/family responsibilities that they are seen to have in their society. Divorce is legal in Turkey, but because it was heavily stigmatized, it was quite rare. Today, modern cultural influences from outside the region, (i.e.-the cultural affects of globalization) are promoting and changing traditional cultural norms of the region. This is a very insightful look into the lived-experience of divorce in the Middle East that gives a sense of the cultural impacts of gendered norms.

GeoEd Tags: culture, cultural norms, gender, Turkey, MiddleEast.