Food Allergy Myths Every Parent Should Discard

Posted on: 22 August 2017


Nearly 15 million people in the United States suffer from some form of a food allergy; children represent roughly 6 million of this number. For the parents of these children, keeping them safe is the primary goal. Don't let a myth take you from this goal. There are many myths out there concerning food allergies that, when followed, put a child in an unnecessary danger zone.

Anything in Moderation is Safe

Food allergies are not about quantity. Even a tiny or trace amount of contact with an allergen can elicit a dangerous reaction within the immune system. Poorly cleaned cookware and utensil sharing are just a couple of the ways even a trace amount of food can be passed along.

A child with an allergy should completely avoid their known triggers. When visiting a restaurant or other place where food is sold, notify the wait staff of your child's allergy to ensure they're taking the necessary precautions.

Feeding Allergen Foods Normalizes the Immune System

For some things, doing them over and over makes them more tolerable. Take waxing, for instance. The more often you get a wax, the less painful it becomes over time. Feeding your child an allergen food will not make their immune system tougher or normalize it.

For a child with severe allergies, you're only increasing their risk of an anaphylactic reaction, and for a less severe allergy, you're causing unnecessary agitation. Food allergies are not curable—they are either lifelong or outgrown, but only the body can decide which path it will take.

Food Allergies Are Airborne

A parent of a child with food allergies can sometimes be a little too protective. Yes, safeguard your child, but don't cause unnecessary stress. If your child has an allergy to peanuts and a friend will be serving peanut butter cookies at their party, your child can still attend.

While it is important that your child does not eat the cookies and the other children wash their hands after enjoying them, simply being in the presence of peanuts will not provoke a reaction. Be cautious, but try to avoid putting your child in a bubble.

If your child has a food allergy and you have not spoken with their provider about a treatment plan, it is imperative that you do so. By taking the necessary precautions, avoiding these myths, and following a treatment plan, you can keep your child safer. Contact a doctor at a medical center like Mid America Ear, Nose, & Throat Clinic PC for more information.