Firm-Wide blog

Rise in Children Food Allergies

By Burg Simpson
May 18, 2015
3 min read

The Inquisitr reported the rise in food allergies in children has led to changes not only in eating habits but in school atmospheres. For instance, school cafeterias now have sign-up sheets for listing food allergies. The San Francisco Chronicle also reported on the increase, and how a new law in California requires schools to keep emergency medicine stocked.

The move follows reports that food allergies are rising at an alarming rate, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New law
An epinephrine auto-injector will be placed in schools in California starting in January. The medicine is to be available for children suffering from food allergies, but also other reactions as well. Connie Green, the founder of the Bay Area Food Allergy Network, praised the move and noted an allergic reaction can take a life in a matter of minutes, so being prepared is key.

Kerry Elliott, the parent of 10-year-old son Nick, discussed her appreciation with the Chronicle. She noted Nick sits at a picnic table in the lunchroom that is designated for nut-free lunches. This may include children that are allergic to peanuts, for example.

“The number of kids sitting at that table has increased,” Elliot said. “He used to be one of three or four and now there are two picnic tables filled.”

According to Food Allergy Resource & Education, reactions to food are the leading cause of anaphylaxis outside hospitals. Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially fatal allergic reaction that occurs when the immune system tries to hard to defend the body and releases an overwhelming amount of chemicals. This sudden burst of chemicals can send the body into shock, lead to loss of breath and cardiac arrest.

Though allergies continue to rise, there is little reason why.

More to be done
There are many consumers and parents claiming more needs to be done regarding allergens. For instance, labeling the product correctly is often a concern. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recalled a handful of products recently because the product packaging failed to list potentially dangerous allergens on the label.

Those products included: bratwurst and bangers sausage products from K. Heeps, Inc., sausage products from Sapar USA, Inc., pierogi products from Kasia’s Deli, Inc., pork products from CS Best Food Inc. and others. All of these manufacturers failed to include allergens on products’ labels.

While some people are encouraging the FDA to do more to make sure the labels are complete, others are calling for more to be included on the labels as well. The U.S. Center for Science in the Public Interest has asked the FDA to require the disclosure of sesame the same way other allergens are listed. According to the Food Poisoning Bulletin, 300,000 to 500,000 Americans are allergic to sesame.

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