The amount of children with food allergies is on the rise.
It is estimated that between 1997 and 2011 the number increased by 50%. That means 1 out of 13 children have food allergies; 2 in every classroom!
The number is on the rise and no one really understands why.
The most common food allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish, and shellfish. Experts have estimated that sesame is becoming the 9th most common food allergy.
The dangers of anaphylaxis
Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction. An allergic reaction can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.
Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room in the USA. That is more than 200,000 emergency room visits per year! Food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside the hospital setting.
Children and adults with food allergies have an epinephrine injection with them at all times. This medicine works to relax the muscles in the airway, helping the patient to breathe. It is a first line of defense against anaphylactic shock. The patient must be taken to a hospital immediately!
However, the best line of defense against ever getting an allergic reaction to avoid the problematic food. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. Children and adults suffering from food allergies need to be aware of what they are eating at all times.