Food Allergies and Childcare

Aug 23, 2015
Food Allergies and Childcare

Food allergies are on the rise, but why should that matter to you as a childcare provider? Simply put, it may be a matter of life and death.

A food allergy is when a person’s immune system overreacts to what should be a harmless food. For example, most of us don’t think anything about eating nuts, but if a student who is allergic to peanuts eats one, his immune system thinks that it has been invaded by an enemy and goes into “attack” mode. While his body works to defend against the “enemy” peanut, it can exhibit a variety of symptoms, from mild itching or nausea to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis.

Although one can become allergic to anything, the top five allergens (according to the CDC) are milk, eggs, wheat, soy, and peanuts.

According to the CDC, food allergies among children increased by 50% between 1997 and 2011. 8% of children in the US have some sort of food allergy, and the percentages are actually higher among young children; this can be scary if you are ever in a situation where one of your students has an allergy attack.

Understanding food allergies can save a life.

Take the allergy course here!

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