Food Allergy Party Pooper

Food allergies can take away the joys of childhood

(RxWiki News) A first anaphylactic episode a child experiences that indicates a food allergy can be a very frightening event for both the parents and child. Some modify their lifestyles greatly to accommodate their fears.

A recent survey indicates that over half the parents believe their child's quality of life is made worse by food allergies. Most surveyed find schools supportive of their food concerns.

"Learn how food allergies impact children."

Maria Acebal, Chief Executive Officer of Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) reports that food allergies are sometimes life threatening. After a child experiences a reaction, it is scary for both the parents and child to return to school. This survey finds that efforts in place to educate teachers about the seriousness of food allergies are working.

Rick Antonelli, CEO Galaxy Nutritional Foods explains that his company’s focus is creating cheese alternatives for those with severe allergies to milk or lactose intolerance. Galaxy Nutritional Foods conducted this study to understand more clearly the emotional impact food allergies have on a family because these families are Galaxy’s customers.

Antonelli explains Galaxy assumed there were fears surrounding food allergies, but needed the study information to confirm those fears. He encourages all to be understanding of those with these difficult allergies.

The survey conducted by FAAN and Galaxy Nutritional Foods included over 1,000 families that have at least one member of their family suffering with food allergies. Of the respondents, a total of 70 percent indicate that a child’s quality of life was affected by the food allergies.

Almost half of those indicated their quality was substantially impacted. A majority (54 percent) of surveyed parents report their child’s schools are highly cooperative and understanding about the food allergies.

Parents feelings include:

  • Frustration is felt by 50 percent
  • Fearfulness is experienced by 62 percent
  • Protectiveness is reported by 90 percent

Parents report their children’s feelings include:

  • Almost 50 percent say their child is frustrated by the allergy
  • Almost 40 percent say their child is afraid by the allergy
  • Isolation is felt by over 35 percent of the children

Additionally, a large majority of the children no longer eat in restaurants, 45 percent of the children don’t go to friend’s houses because of the allergies and over 40 percent no longer attend birthday parties due to allergy concerns. 

The survey results are published online on the FAAN website. Results are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

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Review Date: 
September 11, 2011