Yesterday, we discussed food allergies, how they are diagnosed and just how many kids suffer with them. I pointed out why it's important for kids to carry two "epi" pens. Now, a recent study confirms what many pediatricians advise all along...that kids with food allergies should carry more than one epi pen. It is beneficial to them and to anyone who comes in regular contact with a food allergic individual.
The study published in Pediatrics revealed 44% of patients with anaphylaxis (after eating) received at least one does of epinephrine and 12% of those who received the drug needed more than one dose. Risk factors for requiring an additional dose were over 10 years old and had been treated at a medical center before being transferred to an emergency room.
Food allergies have been on the rise over the years affecting nearly three million school-aged children in the U.S. Current guidelines recommend that children with suspected food allergies should be referred to an allergist and be given instructions on foods to avoid. They should also be prescribed and taught how to use a self-injectable epinephrine.
We recently spoke with football great Jerome Bettis aka The Bus about his food allergy. "I was 14 years old and was eating shrimp fried rice. I felt funny, my throat became scratchy and began to close up". These are all the tell tale signs of a food allergy. Bettis knew the warning signs but told us "some people do not. I think it's important to educate children, parents, coaches and teachers because there is some misinformation out there". Bettis carries two doses of a new product called Auvi-Q at all times. Auvi-Q treats anaphylaxis and is the only auto-injector to talk you through the injection process. This product is very helpful to anyone who may have to administer an epinephrine injection.
1/3 of the food exposures take place outside the home, so knowing the warning signs and immediate treatment can be lifesaving.
Talk to your pediatrician to insure you're following their advice when it comes to your child's food allergy.