Study: Kids food allergies cost U.S. families nearly $25 billion a year

New research shows that childhood food allergies cost parents in the U.S. $25 billion per year in medical and grocery bills and lost productivity.

The JAMA Pediatrics survey on 1,643 families with food-allergic children found that allergies are costing America about $4,184 per child for expenses like trips to the emergency room, medication, doctor visits and buying special allergen-free foods.

One the most surprising finds of the study, the first of its kind  to come up with a comprehensive price tag was the toll of economic opportunities – a massive $14.2 billion a year.

Dr. Ruchi Gupta, a Chicago pediatrician who led the study, says “Food allergies are challenging for families and do impact their career choices. Parents need to be able to respond immediately, so they may not want jobs that require traveling. They may need to be at the school during meal times or for field trips and class parties.”

Six percent of the parents surveyed said they’d been “restricted” in their job opportunities because of caring for a child with allergies.

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