Daddy Clay: Recent studies show a dramatic
increase in food allergies in children. What parents need to know today in The Lab.
Daddy Brad: Daddy Clay, did you know that Oexo-Tek certification guarantees that textiles
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Daddy Clay: You know Daddy Brad, one recent survey in the Boston area showed that ER visits
related to food allergies in children doubled between 2001 and 2006. Anecdotally, we see
peanut-free classrooms popping up all over the place. What’s going on here? What do we
need to know? What do parents need to be on the lookout for when it comes to food allergies?
Daddy Brad: To get some answers, we asked Dr. Rayner Dickey of Holistic Family Medicine
here in Austin. Dr. Rayner Dickey: Food allergies are reactions
of our body to proteins. They often are developed when we’re young. And probably have to do
with both genetics and our childhood eating habits. Breastfeeding is a good way to try
and kind of keep them at bay. So, that’s one of the reasons we encourage moms to breastfeed,
at least up to the fourth month. But if we can get them to go to the sixth month, that’s
great. Milk-based formulas, when they’re not broken down, gives a kid a real early exposure
to casien protein. Casien is a milk protein. And the problem with those proteins like casien
protein is that they have a really strong bonds that don’t break down very well. And
so your immune system often will flag these things with an antibody. Antibodies then make
your immune system go, “Ah, kill this thing. It’s bad.” So then you go wow okay what’s
bad, gluten or milk or whatever it is that you were eating. And in the case of the kid
doing formula, then it’s gonna often be the milk-based formulas because they’re the most
common kind. We like parents to never feed solid food till the sixth month of age. But
a lot of parents go a little earlier. And when you go earlier and depending upon what
you’re choosing, you might be teaching your kid, giving kid an exposure when they’re not
ready for it. The classic symptoms are of course, they have gut issues. They swell,
they have cramping, they have discomfort. Asthma. The rhinitis, the nose is swollen,
congested, lots of mucus. The eyes are itchy, runny, red. And then the skin reactions. So
your eczema where you have dry skin at the creases in the diaper area. What do you do
when you know somebody has an allergy? How do you figure out what it is? How do you figure
out what to do about it? Well, I think the best way to do it is do an elimination challenge
diet. You eliminate down to one food you know your kid tolerates just fine. We have them
eat that and that food alone. Now this works for adults too, for four days. And then you
add something else. And then you add something else. And every time you go four days and
then till you’ve added back all the kinds of food you eat. You will find that food by
doing that. The big eight allergens right. You’ve got the group of dairy, milk, ice cream,
butter. Your wheat, then egg, seafood, shellfish, corn comes in there too, and then lastly would
be the soy. Tree nut allergies are also really prominent. When you do then know somebody
had an allergy, it is a really good idea for the safety of that child to keep EpiPens around.
And they have EpiPen Jr. which is the smaller dose for a kids size injection. Avoidance,
that’s really the best treatment in any kind of an intolerance or an allergic type situation
is avoid the offending agent as best as you possibly can.
Daddy Clay: Now you know Daddy Brad, there’s one theory about food allergies out there
that may be of interest to you given your OCD. It’s called the hygiene hypothesis. And
it holds that the enemy may be our cleanly lifestyle. So babies that are not exposed
to germs at an early age may develop an immune system that’s more hostile towards substances
that normally would be benign like food proteins or pollen. It’s just a theory.
Daddy Brad: So you’re saying that if we all follow the 30-second rule and let out kids
eat a little dirt, we can wipe out allergies? Interesting. You know what, I wish I was allergic
to cheeseburgers and then that would kind of help me with this.
Daddy Clay: Daddy Brad may joke about these things but we know from friends that food
allergies with kids can be serious business. So if you’ve got experience with this, stories
to tell, please join the conversation at DadLabs.com. Daddy Brad: Like to thank our sponsors BabyBjorn.
Your baby is never safer than riding in a front carrier from BabyBjorn, snuggled up
next to daddy. That’s all for us here at The Lab. See you next time.