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More American Children Suffering from Food Allergies

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It's an alarming trend and a wakeup call for parents. The Center For Disease Control reports that food allergies in American children appear to be on the rise. Three million children nationwide are now affected, according to the first federal study on the problem.

no evil peanuts in a basket

The numbers are staggering. The CDC report claims that 1 in 26 children now have some sort of food allergy. That's up from 1 in 29 kids, which was reported in 1997 - an 18% increase in the last decade alone.

The CDC report also notes that children with food allergies are two to four times more likely to have asthma and other allergies. The growing problem has doctors and parents concerned.

"My nine-year-old daughter, Anna, is allergic to both peanuts and dairy, so we have lived with this fear for years. It's life changing," says Shelagh, a Connecticut mom. "We know we are safe at home, but you have to be hyper aware of where she is and what she is eating at all times. A simple thing like eating in the school cafeteria can be a cause for anxiety. I had to pick her up one day when another child accidentally spilled milk on Anna, causing her to break out in hives all over her body. Then there are the birthday parties and playdates; you try to do the best you can to inform teachers and other parents of the potential danger. It's a full time job and it can be scary. This is your child's health we're talking about."

As to why the drastic increase in cases, the answer may be as simple as education. Shelagh says things were different when she was growing up. "Back when we were kids, our parents didn't drag us to the doctor if we had an upset stomach. Parents today are more likely to take their kids to the doctor at the first sign of trouble. More doctor's visits means more diagnosis. And in some cases, that can be a lifesaver."

Amy Brandum, a CDC statistician who co-authored the report agrees. "I didn't know anybody in my elementary school with problems and now there are schools assessing how many classrooms are affected, and it's not insignificant."

How do you tell if your own child has allergies?

Food allergies usually occur after the introduction of solid foods. Almost all children with food allergies will have some form of skin symptom (like hives, redness of skin, and itching). These symptoms typically occur within a few minutes of eating the food in question, although can be delayed up to a couple of hours.

Other symptoms of food allergies in young children can include nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, diarrhea, runny nose, sneezing, and light-headedness. If you notice any of these symptoms, call your pediatrician.

In some cases, children can experience a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis, which can rapidly constrict the airway and is life-threatening. If you child is having trouble breathing, dial 911.

Do your kids have food allergies?

next: Layaway for the Holidays
11 comments so far | Post a comment now
allergymom October 23, 2008, 8:27 PM

My DS (13 mos) has a severe milk allergy. I discovered this when
I began mixing cereal w/ a milk based formula and he had an anaphylactic reaction. I am petrified of leaving him with others (family, friends, etc.), esp. with other children. I don’t think other people understand (unless it is another parent with a child with a food allergy)how LIFE-threatening a mistake could be. I dread him going to school in a few years…because I will not be able to control his surroundings.

JP October 23, 2008, 11:17 PM

You can have the teachers aware and the whole school staff. In every school there is a “nutfree table”. If needed, a milk free could be added, I think. I work as an assistant teacher, and watch out for allergic kids during recess, lunch, snack time, etc. More schools are having wellness policies, so cupcakes for b-days are becoming a thing of the past. Remember, teach your child to speak up, too. He/she is thier own best protector. They can always walk away from the table with food they can’t be near, and get a lunchroom helper. Stress with the teaching team, school nurse, and principal how you need your child to be watched over. Good luck.

DropYourAllergies October 24, 2008, 11:08 AM

Hello Parents of Children who have FOOD Allergies:

As a brief Introduction…

I am the Principal of an ALLERGY Services Company …..
which supports YOUR Primary Care Physician with:

>> Environmental and FOOD Allergy Testing

>> Custom Formulated ImmunoTherapy Vaccine ( Traditional Injection OR “KID Friendly ” Under-the-Tongue DROPs

>> Custom Allergy DIET Plans based on Patients Immediate & Delayed FOOD Allergy Test Result,

May I Please offer the following thoughts as they relate to FOOD & Enviro Allergies:

Not that Parents already do not have enough to worry about….

While it is very Important to be aware of & adjust to a Childs FOOD Allergy Profile.

It is IMPORTANT to Remember that there are TWO Sides to the Allergy COIN:

>> FOODs ( Both Immediate & Delayed )
>> Environmental / InHalants i.e. Pollens, Insect, Animal, Mold etc.

BOTH play a MAJOR Role in what is called ALLERGY March.

Beginning at BIRTH…
1 of 3 INFANTs Begin LIFE Fighting Allergy Disease.

While Allergy is often regarded as a Nuisance by Today’s Society ..
Something that an Individual “Must Put UP With”…..

Medically > ALLERGY is Nothing To SNEEZE AT !

” UnTreated ” >>> ALLERGY is a 24 / 7 / 365 / A LifeTime ! > Progressive, Cumulative Chronic Disease.

In Infants who are Genetically PreDisposed to ALLERGY…
FOOD Allergy is the FIRST Emergence of the Progression of ALLERGY Disease ( 6-12 mo ), Manifesting itself via Eczema, GI Issues and Colic / Behavioral.

As Time moves on, the Infants FOOD Allergy May or May Not subside ..
but it is REPLACED Now ….with Allergy to Enviro InHalants i.e. Dust, Mites, Cockroach, Animal, with Symptoms including the Classic AhChooo / Respiratory / Skin / Behavioral.

What MANY Parents of FOOD Allergy Children Do NOT Know, is that while they are focused on the FOOD Allergy Side of the COIN, the Enviro / InHalant Side festers / exacerbates / continues.. (Ouch ).

The Progression of ALLERGY March .. can quite likely migrate to ALLERGIC Asthma ( Ouch ! ).. by age 6 or so if left UnTreated.

Allergy MARCH Does NOT STOP with Allergic Asthma..

But rather continues it’s destructive path creating a LifeTime, Slippery Slope of further Diseases, Health Complications and Severely Compromised Quality of LIFE ..

Not only for the Sufferer .. but EVERYONE they interface with on a daily basis ( OUCH !).

Recently, I asked a ClassRoom of FOOD Allergy Parents …
“ How many of their Children had Also been Diagnosed with Allergic Asthma ? “ …
To which approx. 65% said YES ( Ouch ! )

The thrust of this Question / Comment is that the InHalant Side of the Allergy Coin Can NOT Be Ignored / Go UnTreated …

So What is a Parent to DO ?

Allergy ACTION Plan:

>> Visit YOUR Primary Care Physician for an Insurance covered FOOD and Enviro BLOOD Allergy Test.

Who knows You, Your Child better than Your Primary Care Doc ?

Speaking to FOOD Allergy…

As we know, FOOD Allergy can only be addressed via DIET.
In this case BOTH Immediate ( IgE ) & Delayed ( IgG / IgG4 ) FOOD Allergy must be Tested For.

Based on these FOOD Allergy Test Results ..
a Custom FOOD Allergy DIET Plan is generated suggesting FOODs to EAT, Not Eat, Restrict & ReIntroduce ….As well as other Great Helpful Info.

>> With regard to Enviro ALLERGY…

the SAME Blood Draw taken for FOOD Allergy can be used to Test YOUR Child for the most common Seasonal & Year-round Enviro Allergens ( approx. 40-45) Specific to YOUR Geo-Region.

Then…once your Childs offending Enviro Allergens are Identified…
Your Dr. will Prescribe Under-the-Tongue, $ 1.00 / Day ImmunoTherapy DROPs.

YOUR DROPs are Custom Formulated, specifically to what YOU Are Allergic TO based on YOUR Allergy Test.

YOUR DROPs are DRUG FREE and contain small traces of FDA Approved Extracts of your offending allergens… much like Allergy SHOTs of Old Days.

Slowly over Time, Extract Concentrations are increased.
YOUR Child’s Immune System is ReCaliberated…
Neutralizing the SOURCE of YOUR Allergy Disease…
Producing Lasting, If Not Lifetime Relief from Allergy Complications.

ALLERGY ImmunoTherapy is the ONLY Clinically Proven / Evidence-Based Methodology that Neutralizes the SOURCE of YOUR Enviro Allergy Disease.

Thus said…
It is Important to TEST / Identify / Know / TREAT >
BOTH Sides of Your Childs Allergy Coin.

>>> Drop Your Allergies . com

Friendly Reminder:
In that ALLERGY Disease is Strongly InHerited …
It is NEVER to Late to STOP the Progression of ALLERGY Disease…

So Mom’s and Dad’s ..
If your Child has Allergies… YOU probably Do TOOO !
So…. make it a Family Visit to YOUR Primary Care Doc …
and …

Drop Your Allergies > Together !

Good Health


Jedimom October 25, 2008, 12:32 PM

Yikes that’s a really long sales pitch above!

Yes, my son is severely allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. He also has asthma. He was also allergic to milk starting at 6 months but outgrew that one. I think avoiding nuts is actually easier than avoiding milk.

We are paying for a private kindergarten this year in order to have him at a nut-free, allergy aware facility.

Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions October 26, 2008, 2:15 PM

My niece was diagnosed with food allergies as a newborn and as a young girl approaching her early teens, she still struggles. Although I knew that she is allergic to things, I had no idea just how sensitive feeding her could be until I catered a baby shower for her new twin brother and sister at her parents home. Now that I “get it”, as the owner of a Detroit area catering and special event planning company, I now offer gluten and allergen-free menus for my people who need them. The word is beginning to spread that we’re here to help, and because I have a special affinity for “the cause” and in honor of my niece - we’re happy to serve their special needs. Thank you for writing about such an important and unfortunately rising issue. - Carlo/Carlo At Your Service Productions

Diana January 15, 2009, 12:14 AM

My 7 year old son touched a peanut butter sandwich and then touched his face when he was 1.5. His entire upper face blew up so badly that he could barely see and we could not recognize him. We are so grateful that he did not eat a bite nor put his hand near his mouth. Reactions can come in other forms than listed in the article.

BTW - the nut-free table is hopefully, one day, going to be a thing of the past. My son can’t sit with friends and we have to worry about any other student touching a doorknob, railing or faucet in his school. The kids with allergies are singled out on a daily basis. I believe that with as many children in his school with life threatening allergies as there are, that the school should stop serving nor allowing peanut products in the building. The Epi pen is at the nurse’s office and may not be reachable in time. It also is not a magic wand as there can be serious respiratory and heart complications from using it.
All parents should sympathize with the fear we must live with, but sadly, many do not. No one chooses this and yet it seems like there is a backlash portraying kid with allergies’ families as whiners. My son had his blood tested more than once. This is not imaginary by any stretch of the imagination. If only it were!

barb January 28, 2009, 1:36 PM

Food allergies have become a major problem especially among children. Unless you work with children, you may not be aware of the extent of the problem. In the last 5 years there has been an “epidemic” of food allergies among children. It started at the same time the recommended number of vaccinations was substantially increased. It could be a coincidence or not. Vaccines are not regulated the same as food. Manufacturers can have “secret ingredients” not revealed on the package insert. This is protected by trade law. If you enjoy reading patents, you can find out many of the various ingredients used in the culture media and adjuvants. Many, many foods are listed. Peanut oil, sesame oil, wheat germ oil, soy oil, corn oil, walnut oil, almond oil are among the ingredients listed. A small amount of protein from these foods cannot be eliminated from the vaccine. It could be causing the food allergy epidemic. At the very least, physicians cannot advise their allergic patients very wisely if they don’t know what is in the vaccine.

Concerned February 19, 2009, 2:00 AM

Mass Hysteria will not help…

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Immobilier Bretagne March 6, 2011, 8:01 PM

Once I initially commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now each time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any manner you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

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