Starting School and Allergies

Such an important issue I hope you find this research useful…..

Why a simple blood test can ease parents’ worries about allergies in the classroom

For every parent anxious about their child going to school in September, there is an important health issue to consider. A report released by the EAACI – European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology – showed that life threatening allergic reactions in children, such as anaphylaxis, increased 7-fold in the last ten years and a third of all allergic shocks in children occur for the first time at school.

 

Exposure to foods ranging from egg to peanuts can cause an allergic reaction in some children, such as eczema, swelling around the eyes and lips, stomach pain and digestive problems, along with more severe reactions, such as anaphylaxis, which can be potentially fatal. According to EAACI, school teachers are largely unprepared on how to handle food allergies and reactions. As a result, the EAACI have launched a campaign to increase awareness of food allergies in general, including triggers and treatment. Many health professionals support finding the source of the problem, by “ruling in” or “ruling out” an allergy with the help of a simple blood test available from doctors.

“It can make a huge difference to parents, children and the whole school community to know what they are dealing with. Food allergies undermine quality of life especially for your children at school where they may be exempt from school dinners, left out of birthday celebrations or the simple pleasure of sharing snacks with friends in the playground.  A simple blood test can help you and your doctor become certain if your child actually has an allergy and equally important, what kind of allergy it is.” Said Dr Hilary Jones.

With more children than ever being admitted to hospitals with severe allergic reactions, it is not surprising that the threat of an allergy can have a detrimental effect on good nutrition and healthy eating, since parents will often limit certain food groups. This can be especially frustrating when a food allergy is believed to be present, but actually is not, causing unnecessary worry. According to NICE guidelines, food allergies are often incorrectly self-diagnosed with only 25-40% of assumed food allergies clinically confirmed as true. If not properly diagnosed, a ’food intolerance’ is often mistaken for a ‘food allergy,’ which is potentially life threatening, and makes a big difference when it comes to managing symptoms.

“An accurate diagnosis of food allergy is important in children because if confirmed it allows avoidance of the food allergen and effective management of the allergy.” Says Dr Hilary Jones. “Equally important, if food allergy is ruled out it allows the child to eat a more normal diet, resulting in a better quality of life and better nutrition overall, not to mention far less anxiety for parents. ”

The EAACI Food Allergy Campaign includes working more closely with EU authorities to improve food labelling and the launch of a document entitled the “International Minimum Standards for the Allergic Child at School” which establishes minimum requirements for the safety of allergic children at school. This is good news for parents and highlights the need for an accurate diagnosis early on.

“Knowing what your child is allergic to can make life safer and more enjoyable for them at school. If you suspect that they might have a food allergy then a simple blood test can help you and your doctor find optimal management.” Pamela Pirrit from Thermo Fisher Scientific UK.

An allergy blood test can provide information on up to 600 different allergy triggers. The test is quick, simple and suitable for all ages. Most importantly, it can assist in giving you and your doctor the necessary information needed to potentially save a child’s life

Press release from Orbital media network

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1 Comment

  1. August 29, 2012 / 8:43 am

    My grandson started school last year, he has confirmed allergies, to eggs, peanuts, dairy and kiwis, all causing anaphylaxis. He is intolerant to wheat, gluten and bananas causing stomach problems.
    The school pretty much isolated him, not allowed in school over lunch time, not allowed near other kids if they were eating at playtime, not allowed to join in with junk box modelling but made to sit in a corner and do work., all the normal social things children need to grow up normal. They were terrified of him and for him.
    She has pulled him out of school and is home schooling him this year because of this.

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