Kids And Food Allergies

With Jane Clayson in for Tom Ashbrook.

Why do so many kids have food allergies? We explore cutting-edge treatments and impact on families, schools and more.



Food allergies are making parents, kids and entire communities a little nutty these days.. The number of children with food allergies is on the rise in a big way. One in 13 kids. Up 18%.

The list of allergies reads like a grocery list: nuts, milk, eggs, fish, wheat, and more. Schools are going nut free. Epi-pens carried everywhere.  Just try figuring what to serve at a kid’s birthday party that won’t end with a trip to the ER. There’s new research, theories, and cutting-edge treatments. And a whole lot of questions.

This hour, On Point: Behind the rise of food allergies and our kids.


Dr. Wayne, G. Shreffler, director of the Food Allergy Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. (@wayneshreffler)

Dr. Ruchi Gupta, physician and professor of pediatrics. Author of “Food Allergy Experience: Real voices. Real disease. Real insights.” (@ruchisgupta)

Paul Antico, founder and CEO of Three of his five kids have food allergies.

From The Reading List

Slate: Please Don’t Spill Your Child’s Snacks All Over the Playground — “Spring came to St. Louis a little later this year than it usually does, and the playgrounds where I go with my children are finally overrun with joyful kids. They’re also overrun with food. Other parents may not notice that fact, but I do: My 2-year-old daughter, Claire, is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and dairy, and many common playground snacks would be dangerous to her if she ate them.”

The New York Times: The Allergy Buster: Can a Radical New Treatment Save Children With Severe Food Allergies? – “For nine years, the greatest challenge Kim Yates Grosso faced each day was keeping her daughter Tessa safe. Tessa was so severely allergic to milk, wheat, eggs, nuts, shellfish and assorted other foods that as a toddler she went into anaphylactic shock when milk fell on her skin. Kim never left her with a baby sitter. She slept with her each night. And when she needed to work, she found a job she could do primarily from home in the evenings.”

ABC News: 6 Things You Need to Know About Food Allergies — “What if getting lunch with a friend could be deadly? That’s a real possibility for someone with a serious food allergy. Every year, up to 200 people with food allergies die from anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction characterized by a variety of symptoms including shortness of breath, low blood pressure and vomiting and swelling. About 1 percent of the overall population, including 8 percent of children, lives with food allergies, and the prevalence is on the rise.”

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