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Child allergies increase over the years. There are many types of allergy: to pollen. to the sun, to mites, to a food ... Each of them develops different symptoms and needs a specific treatment.
Maria Niella, president ofHistasan, Madrid Food Allergy Association (Spain), answers some questions about general doubts about the topic of childhood allergies.
We give you answers to questions about childhood allergies.
What care should parents have when buying food products for their children?
The most difficult thing in the day-to-day life of the allergy sufferer and their families is what seems the simplest: eliminating the food that causes the allergy from the diet. In practice, avoid hidden allergens, especially in processed, packaged and frozen foods.
Sometimes parents go crazy to "interpret" labels. The Labeling Law requires that the following 14 allergens appear on the labels: milk, egg, cereals, nuts, peanuts, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, soybeans, celery, mustard, sesame, lupins and sulphites, but they do not always appear such as “milk or egg”, but with names that are difficult to identify or remember (casein, lysozyme) or impossible codes (the E- numbers, for example). In addition, it must be taken into account that not only food products may contain allergens, but also cosmetics, school supplies and crafts, medicines and other products of daily use.
To all this we must add that there are few safe brands, not available in all the usual points of sale (supermarkets, hypermarkets, neighborhood stores), sometimes only in specialized stores and with prices considerably higher than their counterparts for non-allergy sufferers.
Are allergic children as protected as non-allergic children when they go to kindergarten, schools and canteens?
Regarding the school canteens, the regulations in the Community of Madrid foresee the existence of menus adapted to specific dietary needs (intolerances, allergies, metabolic disorders, etc.). However, in practice, allergy sufferers may have their applications rejected because the center or the company awarded the service allege organizational or other problems.
We face the ignorance what are food allergies on the part of educational and auxiliary staff of educational centers and how to treat them, especially in emergencies. Most families, due to the lack of security, choose not to use the dining room service, and have to endure clearly discriminatory and not very inclusive situations (the allergic child eats only at a separate table, or has to bring the lunch box). home).
Many mothers stop working in order to feed their allergic children at home. The times of greatest risk and that generate the most stress for families are after-school activities, camps and various celebrations (often allergy sufferers do not take part in them). As we can see, we are facing not only a medical problem, but also a social and pedagogical one.
Currently, there is a new regulation of the Community of Madrid, which indicates the need for a cooling and heating system (fridge and microwave) different and exclusively for allergy sufferers who bring their food from home, in case the offer of a menu suitable to their needs cannot be guaranteed.
What do the latest statistics say about food allergies?
In Europe, there are 2 percent of adults allergic to food and up to 8 percent of children, and of them 65 percent are between 0 and 5 years. Regarding the importance of genetic factor, it is considered that if one of the parents suffers from some type of allergy, their children have a 45 percent chance of suffering it as well, and the percentage increases to 75-80 percent in case both parents are allergic.
These data combined lead us to predict that the incidence of allergies in general and food allergies in particular could reach 25 percent in one generation. Of all food-borne allergic reactions, less than 2 percent are very serious (anaphylactic shock).
What foods cause more allergies?
In Spain, the foods that cause the most cases of allergies are, in children, the milk, eggs and in adults fruits (specifically melon and peaches) and fish and shellfish. In Europe, they produce numerous reactions, apples and celery. In the United States, allergies to peanuts prevail and in South America to fruits such as pineapple. Finally, regarding the positive figures, allergies to milk (in 80 percent of cases), somewhat less to eggs (55 percent) and more rarely to fish and fruits (15 percent), are overcome. ).
For more information:
Madrid Association of Food AllergiesHISTASAN.
Email for contact: [email protected]
Attention phone: 91 331 38 99 (Mon, Fri, 12: 00-14: 00 h)
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