There’s no denying it: food allergies are on the rise. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the prevalence of food allergies has increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011. And while the exact reasons for this increase are still unknown, there are a few theories out there.
Exploring the Possible Causes Behind the Uptick of Food Allergies in Children
One theory is that the increase in food allergies is due to the “hygiene hypothesis.” This hypothesis suggests that we are so clean these days that our immune systems are not getting the exposure they need to build up immunity. Therefore, when we are exposed to potential allergens, our immune systems overreact.
Another theory is that the way we process food has changed. For example, more and more foods are being genetically modified, and we are using more chemicals and preservatives than ever before. It’s possible that these changes are causing our immune systems to react in unexpected ways.
Whatever the reason, there’s no denying that food allergies are a real and serious problem. If you or your child has a food allergy, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to know what to do in case of an emergency.
Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance: What’s the Difference?
When it comes to food allergies, it’s essential to know the difference between a food allergy and food intolerance.
A food allergy is a reaction that occurs when the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies a particular food as a threat. This can happen when the body comes into contact with the food, when it is eaten, or even when it’s simply inhaled.
A food intolerance, on the other hand, is a reaction that occurs when the body is unable to properly digest a particular food. This can cause symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
So, what are the signs and symptoms of a food allergy?
The most common signs and symptoms of a food allergy include the following:
- Itching or swelling of the mouth or throat
- Difficulty breathing
If you or your child has any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately.
Putting the Spotlight on the “Big Eight”: Common Food Allergy Triggers to Know and Avoid For Your Kids
Eight common food allergens are responsible for most reactions in the United States. These are:
- Milk and dairy products
- Tree nuts (e.g., almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Fish (e.g., bass, cod, flounder)
- Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp, scallops, etc.)
- Soy and soy-based products
- Wheat and wheat products
While any food can theoretically trigger an allergic reaction, these eight are the most common offenders. If your child has a food allergy, it’s important to be aware of these potential triggers and take steps to avoid them. For more information on food allergies and how to manage them, please talk to your child’s doctor.
The Bottom Line: Understanding Food Allergies and the Importance of Urgent Care For Your Kids
If your child has a food allergy, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and know how to best manage them. If your child does have a reaction, it’s crucial to act quickly and calmly. Remove them from the allergen source if possible, and give them the appropriate medication (if they have one). Then, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.
If you’re looking for urgent care for your children in Tampa, FL, you’ve come to the right place. At Your Kids Urgent Care, we provide quality urgent care services for children of all ages. We understand that when your child is sick or injured, you need quality care as soon as possible. We’re here to help you and your family when you need us most!