News in Parenting: Kids with Allergies Still at Risk
This article in the Times talks about children’s allergies and why there are still occasional breakouts in kids with known allergies. What it really comes down to is that caregivers need to be more aware and informed about the child’s allergies. Forgetfulness or lack of supervision accounted for 65% of the breakouts (that’s a huge percentage people!). How do you forget your kid is allergic to peanuts? Label reading errors accounted for 16% and unintentional cross contamination accounted for 15%, which are a bit more understandable.
I think it needs to be a very high priority to always a. remember your child’s allergies (duh…) and b. thoroughly inform and educate anyone else that’s taking care of them, whether it be daycare workers, nannies, grandparents, or even great uncle Mike who is only watching them for one night. And make sure all caring for your child are comfortable with what to do should an outbreak occur. This study, that followed 50 children over the period of about a year, found that caretakers only used epipens 15% of the time that it was actually needed, stating they were too scared. Being unable to administer your child needed medicine is unacceptable, no matter how scary it is. Hopefully with more education this can be corrected.
One of the most alarming results from this study was how often children experienced purposefully induced outbreaks. Of all the outbreaks, 11% of them were events like this. The Dr. heading up this study guesses that parents were testing to see if their children were over their allergies, but each outbreak can be traumatizing for a child, whether it’s controlled or not. For this reason, professionals highly recommend seeking out an allergy expert first. So moral of the story: be aware of what you feed your kids, and always seek professional advice when in doubt.