Some recent studies regarding children and food allergies have been published, and there are some interesting statistics we would like to share with you.
In less than two decades, the incidence of peanut allergy in children has quintupled. Peanut allergy is the most common childhood food allergy, affecting approximately 2% of children in the United States. It is also known that peanut allergy can cause serious reactions more frequently than most other food allergens. Predicting the severity of an allergic reaction can present some challenges when it comes to understanding food allergy. The severity of the first allergic reaction doesn’t predict the severity of future reactions.
Data from a study involving 83 children with peanut allergy found the following statistics:
- 44% of children who had a non-life-threatening reaction had a life-threatening subsequent reaction
- 71% of children who had a life-threatening first reaction also had a life-threatening subsequent reaction
- 29% of children with a life-threatening first reaction did not have a life-threatening subsequent reaction
The current standard of care for treatment of food allergies is strict avoidance of the known allergens and the use of epinephrine to treat allergic reactions after accidental exposure. For families of children with food allergies, this can be a daunting and very stressful task. A treatment plan designed by our allergists aimed at increasing understanding on how to practice strict avoidance, as well as the proper use of auto-injectable epinephrine, will help reduce the chances of future accidental exposures.