Study Finds Children More Likely To Experience Severe Allergic Reactions
Brian Hom lost his son to food allergy in 2008. The young lad succumbed to an unknown allergen lurking in his dinner dessert even as his father rushed out get some cough drops for him.
The growing incidences of juvenile food allergy in the US are alarming indeed! The latest statistics revealed that at least 8% of the kids under the age of 18 were allergic to at least one food item. The statistics proved to be even more frightening as it revealed that 30% of the children were allergic to several foods with 39% experiencing moderate to severe reactions to common food items especially peanuts, milk, and shellfish.
Dr. Ruchi Gupta, the associate professor at the professor of pediatrics at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine states that most people tend to dismiss the allergies as having to suffer from a mild rash and a few minutes of stomach ache. She further elaborates that the individuals hardly seem to think of food allergies as life threatening and do not take adequate precautionary measures out of ignorance.
How To Combat Allergies
A qualified allergist can definitely identify the offending food but unfortunately, cannot predict whether the reaction to it will be mild or severe. The best way to combat the situation is to:-
- Carry an Epi-pen or a self injecting device containing epinephrine
- Totally avoid the suspected food and the products containing it.
- Avoid the unknown food items especially laid out on a buffet table or ask about the ingredients before you consume it.
Why Children Suffer More From Food Allergies?
Dr. Gupta also feels that children suffer more from allergic reactions simply because:-
- Their parents cannot monitor them all the time especially when they enter their teens and want to be independent.
- They are also subject to bullying as their peers tend to see their allergies as signs of weakness.
- The young adults baulk at the thought of carrying an auto injecting device which is ‘not cool’ according to their perception.
- The research study carried out by Dr. Gupta and her colleagues looked into the data provided by almost 38,000 children.
The findings of the study included:-
- Black and Asian kids are more likely to develop food allergies.
- White children usually get their allergies confirmed by a qualified professional.
- Children who come to US from outside the Mid West are prone to develop allergies.
- Children coming from households living on $50,000 or less are not likely to develop allergies.
- The boys were more susceptible to severe reactions than the girls which increased in case of multiple food allergies.
- Children below the age of two were particularly prone to food allergies.
Although the test had certain limitations and the facts revealed cannot be ignored totally. Mr. Hom also prays that the day will come soon when the young people can safely go out and have dinner in spite of being diagnosed with a food allergy.
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