Mealtimes are stressful for the parents of kids with food allergies. Everything your child eats needs to be checked for allergens.
Food allergies can cause severe allergic reactions including anaphylaxis. Peanut and tree nut allergies are often viewed as being more severe than other food allergies. This reputation may be because they are more common than milk and egg allergies.
Milk allergies occur in approximately 300,000 American kids and egg allergy in approximately 600,000 kids. This is compared to about 3 million with peanut and tree nut allergies. Also, milk and egg allergies are also more likely to be grown out of while peanut and tree nut allergies are more likely to be lifelong.
While all parents of kids with allergies need to be vigilant about the food their child is eating, parents of kids with milk and egg allergies can find it very tough. Allergens can be found in a wide variety of foods. Casein, a milk protein, is found in many non-dairy products such as canned tuna, cereal bars, and processed meats. Whey, found in lots of energy and muscle-building products, hot dogs, sausages, and margarine, is also a milk protein. Eggs can be even more widespread, appearing in baked goods, meat mixes like burgers, meatballs and hot dogs, and salad dressings.
A study by the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology showed that the quality of life for parents of children with egg and milk allergy is lower than parents of tree nut and peanut allergic kids.
The study found that 65% of parents could accurately judge the severity of their child’s allergy while the rest either under or over estimated it. In parents of peanut allergic children, the accurate perception of the allergy was linked to a better quality of life.
It’s important for parents to understand their child’s allergy, to work out an allergy action plan and have a clear plan of action for what to do in the event of an emergency. Having these plans in place can help ease anxiety for food allergic parents.
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Disclaimer: The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Allergy Lifestyle Limited (t/a) Allergy Lifestyle) uses reasonable endeavours to check the accuracy of information provided however no warranty is given that they are error-free. Always seek the advice of an allergy specialist and follow your anaphylaxis emergency care plan.