Study highlights the need to educate parents and caregivers of children with food allergies


A new report “Allergic Reactions to Foods in Preschool-Aged Children in a Prospective Observational Food Allergy Study,” published in the current  issue of Pediatrics has found that most food allergy reactions in children are the result of poor caution, misreading ingredient labels, cross-contamination and even deliberately giving the child the very food he or she is allergic to.

The study which looked at 512 infants between the ages of 3 months and 15 months who were diagnosed with an allergy for milk, eggs or peanuts. 72 percent had at least one allergic reaction while 53 percent had more than one.

Accidental exposures to food allergies, such as a label misreading or cross contamination, resulted in 87 percent of the 834 allergic reactions reported in the study. Non-accidental exposures accounted for the other 13 percent.

Researchers are unclear why parents would intentionally give their child a food their allergic to, but speculate that parents could be testing the child’s allergy.

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