Heartland Health Monitor
5:40 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Amid Growing Demand, Kansas City Royals Sell Out Peanut-Free Sections

Royals offer peanut-allergic fans a 'suite' view at select games this season.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

After announcing this season’s schedule of peanut allergy-friendly events, the Kansas City Royals saw several sell out, and the team soon added another to keep up with demand.

The announcement came after a campaign from some local fans, and it followed a growing trend of baseball teams working to be more accommodating to fans with allergies.

Read more
11:35 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Meet The Man Behind Kansas City's Pollen Count

Dr. Charles Barnes, director of research for Children's Mercy's allergy, asthma, and immunology department, is the man behind the pollen count for Kansas City.
Cody Newill KCUR

Every morning, Dr. Charles Barnes treks up to the roof of Children's Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., to pull a collection slide out of the hospital's spore trap, a small machine consisting of a vacuum pump and wind main.

The little plastic slide may not look like much, but it provides an accurate pollen count for the entire Kansas City metro area.

"We've had this same technology and process for the last 24 years," Barnes says. "It's really pretty simple."

Read more
Central Standard
3:32 pm
Wed June 18, 2014

Counting Kansas City's Pollen

Charles Barnes in his laboratory at Children's Mercy.
Credit Cody Newill / KCUR

On Wednesday's Central Standard, we speak with the person who can explain why you've been sneezing more than usual. Charles Barnes tells us everything we ever wanted to know about pollen, especially how much of it is floating through our air.


  • Charles Barnes, Director of the Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at Children's Mercy Hospital
Read more
Heartland Health Monitor
5:38 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

First Peanut Allergy-Friendly Royals Event Of Season Thrills Handful Of Fans

Twin brothers Camden and Preston Tyrrell watch the Royals with their father, Chris.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

For fifteen-year-old Antonio Franco, going out to something like a baseball game can be complicated, even dangerous.

“I accidently ate the wrong kind of cookie,” he says, remembering a severe allergic reaction. “We ended up having to rush to the hospital.”

Franco is one of an increasing number of children and teenagers who have severe food allergies, especially to peanuts. Because peanuts and foods containing peanut traces are so common, these kids and their parents are often limited in where they can go for fun.

Read more
2:39 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Why Your Allergies Seem To Be Worse This Year In Kansas City

Pollen from trees and other plants hit an all-time-high in Kansas City about two weeks ago.
Credit Emily Whitty / Submitted photo

If your allergies seem more severe this year in Kansas City, you're not alone.

That's according to Dr. Jay Portnoy, who leads the allergy and asthma department at Children's Mercy Hospital.

"We've been tracking pollen for 15 years in the Kansas City area and over that time, the pollen count has been slowly increasing," Portnoy says. "Each year is getting a little bit worse."  

On Thursday, Portnoy explained to Up To Date Host Steve Kraske that the day's tree pollen count was only 529, but two weeks ago, it hit an all-time high of 9,000.

Read more
Up To Date
10:36 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Fighting Off Allergies

Pollen is just one of the perpetrators of seasonal allergies, as 'Up to Date' host Steve Kraske well knows.
Credit Brooke Novak / Flickr-CC

There's one topic that keeps on giving year after year: allergies. From seasonal, to year-round, gluten to peanuts, allergies affect over 65 million people in the United States alone.

In the first segment of Thursday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske discusses all things mold, pollen, and food protein with Dr. Jay Portnoy​, who heads the allergy and asthma department at Children's Mercy Hospital.


Read more
Heartland Health Monitor
10:33 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Kansas City Royals To Host Peanut-Free Events For People With Allergies

Weston Miller wears a medical bracelet with information about his severe nut allergies.
Credit Alex Smith / KCUR

The Kansas City Royals said on Thursday that they would offer special events at select games for those with severe peanut allergies.

The announcement was a victory for Janna Miller of Knob Noster, Mo.

In March, Miller started a Facebook group to encourage allergy-sensitive events at Royals games after noticing none listed on this season’s schedule.

Her son, Weston, was diagnosed with a severe peanut allergy when he was three.

Read more
Up to Date
5:29 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Allergies: Indoor, Outdoor & Everywhere

Allan Foster

With the temperatures soaring this week, spring has burst onto the scene… and that means lots of pollen

Read more