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The Most Dangerous Place for Kids With Food Allergies Is Not Where You’d Expect

Posted by on May. 7, 2015 at 6:52 AM
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The Most Dangerous Place for Kids With Food Allergies Is Not Where You’d Expect

It's long been assumed that the safest place for a kid with food allergies is at home. It makes sense, right? Everything going in and out is monitored by Mom and you can make it an entirely peanut-free zone, if that's what works for you. But according to new research, the home is actually the MOST dangerous place for kids with peanut allergies -- and that's above schools, restaurants, and friends' houses.

Not what you want to hear, is it?

Doctors and researchers from across Canada followed kids around 7 years old for about three years and found that in 37 percent of cases, instances of allergic reactions to peanuts happened in their own home. 

That's compared to just 14 percent in other people's homes and 9 percent in restaurants.

Schools and daycares where peanuts are forbidden accounted for about 5 percent of exposures, and -- get this -- schools/daycares where peanuts are allowed account for only 3 percent of exposures.

So what's up with those results? The researchers figured it comes down to a sense of security that kids feel in "safe" spaces, and children with allergies and their parents are less cautious at home and in peanut-free schools. That makes it easier for the allergens to sneak in and catch them with their guards down.

The researchers also found that a troubling amount of allergic reactions went unevaluated by professionals -- 75 percent of moderate reactions and 42 percent of severe reactions were never brought to a doctor, which could be really dangerous for the kids with allergies.

Different agencies have different tips for keeping the home safe for children with allergies and for dealing with reactions if they happen, but it basically comes down to reading labels closely and being really, really careful.

The good news is that according to the study, the likelihood of kids being accidentally exposed drops pretty consistently as they get older. That's probably due somewhat to trial and error, but also just their families adjusting to their allergies and needs as they grow.

If your kids has ever had an exposure to a food allergen, where did it take place?

 

Image via Karen Sarraga/shutterstock

by on May. 7, 2015 at 6:52 AM
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