Dangers of Common Food Allergies

RENO, Nev. -- Food allergies are a growing health concern especially among children. As many as six million children in the U.S. are affected and food allergies are more common and more dangers than ever before.

Many food allergies in children are mild and fade over time. Dr. Lokshin, an allergy and asthma specialist says common symptoms include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, and failure to gain wait. However, some reactions can lead to lead.

"Mostly it is tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, less so but seafood, shellfish. In earlier ages, milk, soy, sometimes corn and wheat," he said.

Kids can be born with food allergies but most of the time it's acquired. 14-year-old Molly has lived with a peanut allergy her entire life. Her grandmother, Dolly Leniz Belzman, says if Molly makes any contact with peanuts, she could go into shock.

"There was one time when she was little and she said mommy my ears itch and that now what we learned is it can go down her throat and close up," Belzman said.

Many children and teens feel insecure about their allergic reactions and are times getting bullied for it.

"A little boy who had or has a peanut allergy and so a classmate who used TO bully him suddenly became very nice to him and brought him m&ms with an intent to give him m&ms with peanuts," Dr. Lokshin said.

"A child with a peanut allergy, when they get bullied they get one chance at it because it's like sticking a gun in their face," said Belzman.

She organized The Peanut Patrol as part of her Sniff Out Peanuts non-profit organization to help educate and spread awareness of the severity of the peanut allergy.

"They use their eyes, ears, nose and mouth to help kids or anybody that has a peanut allergy," Belzman said.

By word of mouth and social media, The Peanut Patrol has spread to 25 states and five countries.

"We need to have you know educated everybody and make them aware because that's what saves lives," she said.

Currently, there is no cure for allergies and sometimes people can outgrow them, but the best way to prevent a reaction is to be aware of the foods being eaten, read ingredient labels and to speak up when going out to eat.


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