CDC: 265% rise in food allergy hospitalization among kids
Severe peanut butter allergy tripled since 1997
SAN ANTONIO - The Centers for Disease Control reports a 265 percent increase in hospitalization rates related to food allergic reactions among kids.
Now lawmakers are taking steps to make sure teachers watch out for allergic reactions at school as diligently as parents do at home.
Selena Bluntzer's 3-year-old daughter Morgan looks, talks and acts, like your average child, but Morgan has a secret. She's severely allergic to a handful of food.
"Food is so much a part of every day life, you have to pay attention to every little thing. Especially with young children," Bluntzer said.
Morgan is among a growing number of children with severe food allergies.
According to the Center's for Disease Control, there are just a handful of foods that cause 90% of all of the food allergy reactions. Among those, eggs, peanuts and other nuts, milk and fish.
The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network reports, the number of children with severe allergic reactions to peanut butter alone has tripled since 1997.
In response to the increase in these food allergies, Texas lawmakers are now requiring schools to adopt some form of safety protocol for caring for children with food allergies.
"That's a big strike forward for the patients and their families because of the fact they'll be policies to protect them," Allergist, Dr. Erika Gonzalez M.D. said.
Because starting school is when many children first venture out of the home, and are no longer under the watchful eye of their parents, it's also the time many food allergies become evident.
This leaves teachers with the task of knowing when your child is having an allergic reaction, and what to do.
"Our kids spend about 50 percent of their awake hours in school and so although parents can be very vigilant of these food allergens in a home environment.
They also need to be protected in their school environment where they spend most of their time," Dr. Gonzalez said.
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