In an earlier blog post we talked about clothing allergies and how they are on the rise. Well, did you know that food allergies are also on the rise? A food allergy occurs when a person’s system reacts unusually to certain food allergens. Although generally only mild, they can be very dangerous for children and adults and especially difficult to manage in children who can’t always be supervised by their parents but don’t understand what an allergy is. Keep reading to learn how Nametags4U can to protect allergy sufferers through customised labels.
What are the most common allergies in children?
They are milk, eggs, soy, wheat, tree nuts (like walnuts and cashews), peanuts, fish and shellfish. These allergens are responsible for 90% 90% of all food allergies in children.
What are common signs and symptoms of a food allergy?
4 key areas of the body tend to be affected…
Is it true that they’re on the rise?
Yes, the rate of food allergy has risen over the last 30 years, most notably in industrial societies. In fact, food allergy now affects roughly 7% of children in the UK. Although researchers can’t be sure exactly why this is happening, they have noticed that food allergy rates are lower in less developed countries and generally lower in rural areas. This suggests that environmental factors like pollution, dietary changes and decreased exposure to microbes (due to improved hygiene) could be behind the rise in Western countries.
Is there a cure?
Whilst medication can help to relieve the symptoms of an allergy, unfortunately, a cure for food allergy is yet to be discovered. This means that managing an allergy comes down to avoiding the harmful foods and having an emergency treatment plan in place in case of a reaction.
So how can parents take steps to protect a child with an allergy?
As your child might not be fully aware of their allergy, the restrictions and the implications, it is certainly advisable to take extra precautions to inform others about his or her case. This might include using stick on labels detailing their food allergies which can go onto their lunchbox, school bag or any other personal items that they use when away from their parents. We can create this kind of stick on label to help to give parents some peace of mind. Don’t worry, the labels can be put through the dishwasher again and again!
Other guidelines to follow include the following:
Learn to read food labels very carefully, including the ‘manufactured in a factory containing…’ and ‘may contain…’ details. Even if you’ve been buying the same product for years, recipes can change with no warning! Be on the safe side and always double check, it’s definitely worth paying the extra attention. Teach your child to do the same as you go round the supermarket or shops.
Be very cautious when you’re buying products that do not have labels on them such as things from a bakery, at a salad bar or a buffet.
Recognise your child’s symptoms and teach them to do the same so it can quickly be identified when they have had a reaction in order to be able to act accordingly and swiftly.
Have an action plan sorted for if and when your child does have an allergic reaction. For example, what treatment do they need? How will you ensure that you, the parent, are contacted if you are not with them at the time? Who else needs to be contacted? What’s more, it’s vital to tell all your family, friends and staff at their school or clubs about their allergy and what they should do to help the, not only in the case of a reaction but also what they need to be careful of in general.
When eating out, be sure to ask the staff lots of questions and relay the seriousness of your situation so that all necessary precautions are taken in the kitchen.
We hope this has been informative and helpful! If you'd like to order some allergy labels, just head to our products section and customise them as you wish.