Free challenges for those with food allergies


Sunday, November 25, 2018 – Holidays can be a particularly difficult time for food allergies. But one health expert suggests that these people can still enjoy the festivities as long as they take certain precautions.

About 5 percent of children and 4 percent of adults in the US are allergic to food, according to the US National Institutes of Health. The most common allergens include milk, eggs, wheat, soybeans, peanuts, nuts, fish and seafood.

"It's important for people to remember that although the main ingredients in the container may be fine, some ingredients may be hidden and cause allergic reactions," says Dr Wakefield Baptist Medical Center, Dr. Allen, Dr. Russell Traister Winston-Salem, NC

Food allergies must be aware of cross-contamination. For example, peanut protein may remain in the bowl or work surface for up to five hours and still cause a serious reaction to peanut allergy.

In addition, people suffering from food allergy should always have a generic version of EpiPen or epinephrine auto-injector. They should make sure it is not over, and friends and family members can use it, "Traister said.

If you attend a holiday with a child or other family member who has food allergies, they bring at least one dish that is safe for them unless there are other options, he said.

If you like your gatherings, keep all prepared food packaging so that customers can check the ingredients of any allergen.

Food allergy symptoms may vary from rash, coughing and vomiting to potentially life-threatening reactions, such as swelling of the tongue and inability to breathe.

"If you think you or your friends or family are an allergic reaction and you do not have an epinephrine auto engineer, call 911 immediately or go to the nearest hospital," Traister said in Wake Forest.

"Even though you're using an adrenaline injector, you still have to go to a doctor to prevent another reaction," he added.

More information

The American Academy of Family Medicine has more food allergies.

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