Stories about: Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network

Updated Massachusetts law makes going out to eat safer for people with food allergies

Eating out can be very stressful for families of children with food allergies

Sampling local restaurants is a great way for families to spend time together while getting out of the house. But if you’re the parent of a child with a food allergy, trusting the cooking to a total stranger is anything but relaxing.

“Dining out has always been a major source of stress and challenge for our family,” says Robyn Nasuti, the mother of two children born with significant food allergies. “It has isolated us from nights out with friends, and on several occasions we’ve had to walk out of restaurants after getting a blank stare from a manager or server when I mentioned all our food allergies.”

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Peanut allergies on the rise among kids

for kids with severe nut allergies, peanuts can be deadly
For kids with severe nut allergies, peanuts can be deadly.

We all know that children can be notoriously picky when it comes to food, but for kids with severe food allergies an extremely limited diet can be a life saver. Current data shows that close to 7 percent of all kids in the United States have food allergies, well over double the number reported a decade ago. This upward trend was reported in several new studies which show food allergies, especially to peanut and tree nuts are still on the rise among kids. Yet despite the wealth of information proving the increase in these cases, researches can’t seem to figure out why the numbers are growing.

“I think it’s a big puzzle that we still don’t fully understand,” says Dale Umetsu, MD, PhD, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Allergy Program and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. “Clearly there are changes in our environment that are causing this increase but we don’t know which ones; it could be a slew of different factors.”

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