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New Survey Reveals Emotional Impact of Food Allergy on Children

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A recent survey conducted by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network and Galaxy Nutritional Foods examined parents’ perspectives on the emotional impact that food allergies have on their children.

Nearly 70 percent of the parents of children with food allergies surveyed said having a food allergy has affected their child’s quality of life, with 40 percent indicating their child’s life was impacted “somewhat,” and 29 percent “a great deal.”

The survey also asked parents about food allergy prevalence in schools and societal understanding of the medical condition. According to the survey, 47 percent of parents indicated that they were aware of one to two other children in their child’s classroom who also had food allergies. This finding is in line with the latest statistics that show 1 in 13 U.S. children have a food allergy. Additionally, the survey found that a majority of parents of children with a food allergy felt that school personnel had an “excellent” or “good” understanding of food allergy.

The survey also explored participation in everyday life events – activities that most of the general population takes for granted. For parents of children with food allergies, common events such as eating out at a restaurant, attending a birthday party, or sleeping over at a friends’ house can be concerning. According to the parents surveyed, they choose not to have their children participate in many of these everyday life events.

 

This article was originally published in Coping® with Allergies & Asthma magazine, September/October 2011.