Facts

  • Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from food allergy.
  • Approximately 2 million (1 in 13) school-aged children have food allergy.  That is roughly two in every classroom.
  • The number of people who have a food allergy is growing, but there is no clear answer as to why.
  • Eight foods account for 90 percent of all reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Even trace amounts of a food allergen can cause a reaction.
  • A reaction to food can range from a mild response (such as an itchy mouth) to anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly reaction.
  • Teenagers and young adults with food allergy and individuals that have both food allergies and asthma have the highest risk for severe/fatal allergic reactions.
  • Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department – that is more than 200,000 emergency department visits per year.
  • Studies have shown that early administration of epinephrine (adrenaline), available by prescription is key to a patient’s survival of anaphylactic shock.
  • The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion per year.
  • Food allergies affect children and adults of all races and ethnicity.
  • A food allergy can begin at any age.
  • Your risk of having food allergies is higher if you have a parent who suffers from any type of allergic disease (asthma, eczema, food allergies, or environmental allergies such as hay fever).
  • Children with food allergy are 2-4 times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies, compared with children who do not have food allergies.
  • Food allergies may be a trigger for or associated with other allergic conditions, such as atopic dermatitis and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases.
  • THERE IS NO CURE for food allergy. Strict avoidance of the allergy-causing food is the only way to prevent a reaction.

Source:  Food Allergy Research and Education 2017

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