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Caregivers need more education on food allergies, study finds

Category: Allergy Testing

The number of children who have received positive lab tests for food allergies has increased dramatically in recent years, but many parents and caregivers still have trouble dealing with children who have these conditions, according to a new study published in the journal Pediatrics.

In the study, researchers tracked the medical records of 500 children who had been diagnosed with or were suspected of having a serious allergy to eggs or dairy products. All participants had conditions so serious that their caregivers carried epinephrine injectors.

The results showed that despite the significant of amount of education caregivers received on the condition, 72 percent of the children still had major allergic reactions during the study period. Furthermore, of the 11 percent who had severe events, less than one-third received an epinephrine injection from his or her caregiver.

Findings from the study indicate that caregivers need to be educated more on being vigilant about avoiding triggers, reading food labels, avoiding cross contamination and administering epinephrine, the researchers wrote in their report. This could help most children with food allergies avoid serious reactions.

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