Kids' Food Allergies are on the RISE, Says CDC

If you're dealing with food allergies in your family, you're not alone. The number of kids and teens with a food allergy jumped 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, according to a new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In 2007, approximately 3 million U.S. children and teens were reported to have a food allergy.

The report found that eight types of food account for 90 percent of all food allergies: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Reactions to these foods by an allergic person can range from a tingling sensation around the mouth and lips to hives and even death depending on the severity of the reaction.

Children with food allergy are two to four times more likely to have other related conditions such as asthma and other allergies compared with children without food allergies the report notes. Other highlights:

Boys and girls had similar rates of food allergy: 3.8 percent for boys and 4.1 percent for girls.

Approximately 4.7 percent of children younger than 5 years had a reported food allergy compared with 3.7 percent of children and teens ages 5 to 17 years.

In 2007, 29 percent of children with food allergy also had reported asthma compared with 12 percent of children without food allergy.

Approximately 27 percent of children with food allergy had reported eczema or skin allergy, compared with 8 percent of children without food allergy.

For more information and tips for dealing with food allergy, visit the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology at www.aaaai.org <http://www.aaaai.org> <http://www.aaaai.org> and enter "food allergy" in the search field.

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