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NPR: Food Allergies Affect 1 in 13 Kids!

A recent national survey of 40,000 families has shown food allergies in children are on the rise. Nut allergies are the most common and can have scary symptoms. For example, a child’s airway can close up.

Teens are the highest at risk for food allergies, reported by NPR. They are the most prone to having bad reactions.

Statistics show 1 in 13 children are allergic to at least one food. That adds up to 5.9 million kids in the US! In the wake of this survey, Reuters Health suggests that we need to “Develop policies for schools and sporting events and any activities that kids participate in to make it clear that everybody is looking out for these kids.”

There is excellent information at “My Allergy Survey,” a Web site dedicated to helping parents prepare before going to a doctor regarding allergy issues. You can take the allergy survey here with your child or complete it on behalf of your child.

Kids were most commonly allergic to peanuts, milk, and shellfish. The types of common children’s allergies are hayfever, seasonal and perenial allergies. These all involve issues in the nasal airways like inflammation and dripping.

By percentage:

Childhood allergies are often be linked with asthma. This causes a child’s airway to be restricted and their blood pressure to drop. This is a pretty severe reaction for any child. It is important our kids are monitored by parents and caregivers to make sure they stay away from potential allergy triggers.

On a positive note, there are plenty of food allergy cookbooks and new substitutes.

For example, peanut butter replaced with sunflower butter. Sunflower butter is made from sunflower seeds and is peanut free = a healthy peanut butter alternative. There are ways to get around food allergies and not always say “NO” to your kids.

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Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT

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