Finding a Path to Safety in Food Allergy

By Adem Lewis / in , , , , /

Food allergy is a complicated disease, and as we learn more, the science is changing around prevention and management. A report from the National Academies of Sciences,
Engineering, and Medicine highlights promising approaches on
how to improve the lives of people with food allergy. Until recently, parents and guardians
have been urged to wait until their child is 12 months of age before introducing foods with common allergens. Now, studies suggest that delaying the introduction of allergens does not decrease the risk of those food
allergies. And there is strong evidence to suggest that
introducing peanuts as soon as an infant is developmentally ready could be beneficial
to your child, especially if they are at high risk of allergy. If a health care professional has diagnosed
your child with food allergy keeping him or her safe at home can be
challenging and time consuming. For instance, you may need to keep the child
away from food preparation areas where allergens may be left within reach
or where cooking may cause allergens to become airborne. As children grow and start to become more
independent safety remains essential. Communicating your child’s food allergy
to restaurant servers teachers, or
family and friends can improve safety. If you suspect a food allergy for you or your
child don’t make the diagnosis yourself. Food allergies can be confused with other
conditions. Your health care provider may refer you to
an allergist who can correctly diagnose, evaluate,
and help you manage the allergy. To learn more about food allergies, read the
report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

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