• Mon, Jun 25 2012

So Basically,You Can’t Trust Anyone With Your Child’s Food Allergy But Yourself

food allergyChildren with severe food allergies give their parents a whole different set of worries. Every school function, airplane ride,  and trip to the grocery store rightfully incites a panic. But despite allergy mothers and fathers keeping tabs on any traces of egg, peanut, or milk, studies indicate that children with diagnosed allergies are still finding themselves on the other end of intense allergic reactions. Because although parents seem to be warding off those allergens okay, other people you hand your children to are dropping the ball.

TIME reports that a government-sponsored study of 500 children found that accidents do, indeed, happen:

Over the course of the 36-month study period, nearly 72% of the kids had at least one allergic reaction; just over half of the kids experienced more than one. The most common reactions were to milk, eggs or peanuts, and of these 834 cases, the vast majority (87%) were accidental, attributed to lapses like forgetfulness or lack of supervision on the part of the caregiver (65%), label-reading errors (16%) and unintentional cross-contamination (15%) or mistakes in preparation (4%) of foods.

Yet, parents only account for about half of these mishaps, meaning that the other people on your childcare list, such as nannies, babysitters, extended family, teachers, and daycare providers aren’t quite adhering to your wagging finger. “Caregivers,” TIME notes, also appear to get a little weak-kneed when asked to give an epinephrine injection in the cases of severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis. Even a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, and swelling of the throat had some adults — including some parents — waiting around to see if symptoms worsened before reaching for that epinephrine.

Something to keep in mind when you sign that daycare release form.

(photo: Karen Sarraga/ Shutterstock)

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