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Making sure that our kids get the correct foods they need is very important, but it is also important to make sure that those foods do not cause an allergic reactions. Pediatric food allergies, which can sometimes lead to life-threatening situations, are increasing at a dramatic rate across the United States.
The author of a new study on the topic are unsure if the rise in reports of food allergies reflects an increase in actual prevalence or if better awareness of allergies has led more people to seek treatment for their symptoms. Whatever the cause may be, it is very clear that the number of children with food allergies has gone up 18 percent in recent years, and the number of people seeking treatment for food allergies at emergency departments or hospitals has tripled since 1993.
Amy Branum, who is the author of the study and a health statistician for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “People are more aware of food allergies today, and that could have something to do with it. But, when we looked at health-care surveys filled out by parents and those from the health-care sector, we saw the increase across the surveys so this may be more than just increased awareness.” The results of this new study were published on November 16 and will appear in the December print issue of Pediatrics.
Although many people still think of allergies as more of a nuisance than a serious health issue, food allergies in particular can be a very serious problem and in some cases life-threatening. According to the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network, the most common foods that people are allergic to include eggs, shellfish, peanuts, milk, tree nuts, and wheat.