Food allergies: What parents need to know - KMSP-TV

Food allergies: What parents need to know

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ATLANTA -

Chances are your child or someone in your child's class has at least one food allergy.  A study by the CDC released last week shows that one in every 20 kids is dealing with food allergies.  It's a challenge, but doctors say it's important that kids get diagnosed and treated.  

Collin Goldberg is just like any other fifth grader, except that he carries around an epinephrine pen.  Collin, 10, has a laundry list of allergies, including eggs, fish, shellfish, grass and pollen.  But it's the food allergies that are the most challenging for him.  

"There's a lot of stuff that people are like, "Hmmm… this tastes so good, try it.'  And I'm like, ‘I can't,'" Collin explained.

Allergists can't ignore the fact that more than 6 million kids now have food allergies, which affect just more than 5 percent of all children.  Dr. Kathleen Sheerin, an allergist with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinic, told FOX 5 she has patients whose parents tell her all the time that they never had anyone in their classes with food allergies, but their kids have lots.  

She says it's not clear why more kids are developing food allergies now, but it's important for parents to know the symptoms.  Those symptoms can include hives, trouble breathing, and vomiting, which is often blown off by parents as a symptom.  

Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction.  It can lead to death without medicine found in an EpiPen, like the one Collin carries around.  

Dr. Sheerin says you should get your child tested for allergies.  There are a couple of simple tests that will determine whether your child has food allergies, and they're usually covered by insurance.

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