Local pediatrician weighs in on food allergies and kids
BATON ROUGE - Health officials say the number of kids in the U.S. with food allergies is on the rise, and Dr. Mindy Calandro of the Baton Rouge Clinic visited News 2 at 4 to bring us the latest info from recent pediatric studies of the trend.
Dr. Calandro says early identification of childhood allergies is key to improving your child's overall quality of life, reducing missed school days and avoiding the trauma of a reaction. Any child may develop food allergies, but Dr. Calandro notes that they are common in children from families with a history of such reactions.
The pediatrician notes that kids can be allergic to any food, but there are eight common allergens that account for 90 percent of all reactions in children. These common culprits include:
-Tree nuts (such as walnuts and cashews)
-Shellfish (such as shrimp)
Symptoms generally include skin rashes or hives, breathing difficulties, sneezing, coughing, runny noses, itchy eyes and upset stomachs, but don't let the sound of the milder symptoms lull you into complacency as food allergies can be life-threatening on the severe end of the spectrum. As with any other health issues for children, Dr. Calandro advises parents to seek out professional guidance, early and often as needed. If you suspect your child has a food allergy, she recommends making an appointment with an allergist, a specialist who deals directly with allergies, to learn properly diagnose the condition and learn the best coping techniques.
The doctor presents some excellent facts and figures about food allergies in the attached video, so be sure to check it out if you think your child may have the condition.
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