Our favorite food allergies faq list of tips and statistics to give to individuals unfamiliar with food allergies. Share this list with your family, friends, school teachers and staff.
Food Allergy FAQ
- No one knows the cause of food allergies or why there seems to be a sudden rise in diagnosis.
- Not all food allergies or food allergic individuals are created equally.
- Not all families have access to the same information/education nor do all families handle their food allergies in the same way.
- Some food allergies are life threatening.
- There are several ways to develop an allergic reaction.
-Ingestion (most common)
-Touching an allergen and then touching eyes, nose or mouth (also common)
-Airborne sensitivity (less common)
-Skin sensitivity (less common on unbroken skin (may result in isolated hives), anaphylaxis can occur on broken/cut skin)
- There currently is no FDA approved cure for food allergies.
(Regardless of what you’ve heard from the media.)
- The only way to avoid a reaction is strict avoidance of the allergen.
- Allergies can be outgrown, however not all are.
- The only life saving treatment/medication readily available is epinephrine (the EpiPen) and usually must be administered within minutes of a reaction. Any delay can cause a reaction to progress quickly.
- Home made foods may be unsafe due to potential cross contamination. Traces of an allergen can find their way into home made food items. Utensils and pans not thoroughly washed, cutting a peanut butter sandwich and using the same knife to frost cupcakes, etc.
- Foods with “processed in” labels or “may contains” labels are potentially unsafe. In a study, up to 7% of items with warning labels (that were tested) contained detectable levels of peanut protein even though peanut was not listed as an ingredient.
- A recent study and survey found that peanut allergic individuals have a lower quality of life than those with diabetes.
- Allergen safe schools or classrooms do not always cause a false sense of security. Instead they often minimize the risk of exposure and may be necessary for those severely allergic.
- There are no reliable numbers regarding food allergic deaths as such deaths are often misclassified under cardiac arrest or as asthma related.
- Most children and other individuals with food allergies know that “this is life” and that “they need to live with/deal with it”. They live with it and deal with it everyday from what and where they can eat, where they can and can’t go, or even vacation. However, as a society we do and need to make accommodations for individuals in school and outside of school. (See next item.)
- Life threatening food allergies are considered a disability under Section 504 and ADA.
- Children with food allergies long to be included.
- Please consider keeping food in school to a minimum.
(Food free rewards, school birthdays and celebrations.)
- Please don’t leave food allergic children off the birthday invitation list.
(Most parents are happy to stay and help and bring their own food for their child.)
- Please consider a play date or sleepover with a food allergic child.
(It doesn’t have to be any more work than with a non food allergic child.)
- Please don’t feed a food allergic child unless you have permission to do so from their parents.
This list was compiled by Ruth LovettSmith of Best Allergy Sites