Food Allergy Alert

By Health Day

Nearly six million American children have food allergies...some life threatening. Keeping them safe after diagnosis can be a very serious challenge.

In a new study, published in the journal Pediatrics, researchers tracked 512 pre-school aged children who were diagnosed with or at risk for having an allergy to milk or eggs.

367 participants reported more than 1,000 exposures or reactions over an average 3-year period the majority of them accidental.

Many of the families struggled with checking ingredients on food labels in their own homes. They sometimes misread labels, or weren't always vigilant enough in supervising children or preparing foods safely.

About one in 10 families actually allowed their kids to try offending foods to see if they'd outgrown the allergy.

Still, more than half of the allergic reactions happened when the child was under someone else's care...either extended family, teachers or at a friend's.

Only 30-percent of severe reactions were treated with the standard epinephrine injections...pointing out the need to educate families and other caretakers on when an EpiPen should be used.

The study's authors suggest improved education for both family and friends...and persistent vigilance with label reading and treatment of severe reactions.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the news from today that can lead to health tomorrows.