A new study out of Children’s Hospital Boston suggests that kids with severe food allergies may need to carry two doses of epinephrine with them, instead of the typical one.
Researchers looked at 1200 cases of anaphylaxis in children during a five year period. What they discovered was that 12 percent of children required a second dose after having a severe allergic reaction. And according to Yahoo! News, another study indicated that the number could be closer to 1 in 5 children.
Researchers believe, though, that even with a heightened awareness of food allergies (think peanut-free schools), about half of kids who have reactions aren’t getting epinephrine at all — either at home or at the hospital — leading them to believe the condition could be under diagnosed and under-treated.
Interestingly, not all food allergies are related to the those high profile allergens — milk, nuts, fish, soy.
My older daughter recently had a mild reaction at breakfast time — itchy throat and eyes, runny nose, flushed face. Her allergist told us that out of everything she’d eaten that morning — cereal, milk, yogurt, almonds, and an apple — the most likely culprit was the apple.
He told us that when a child is allergic to a certain pollen — say birch — they can also react to similar proteins in fruits and vegetables. And rarely, those reactions can be serious. Her reaction was mild, so I was surprised when he sent us home with an epi pen anyway.
The long and short of this is that if your child has an allergic reaction to certain foods, a visit to the allergist is warranted. And if your child reacts strongly to trigger foods, ask your doctor if you should be carrying two epi pens instead of one.
Does your child have food allergies? How do you deal with them?