Parent Report of Childhood Shellfish Allergy in the US

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Although shellfish allergy frequently results in emergency department visits, national prevalence studies focusing on shellfish allergy in children are scarce. This study describes parent reports of shellfish allergy among children in the United States. Data from shellfish-allergic children were identified for analysis from a randomized, cross-sectional survey administered in US households with children from June 2009 to February 2010. Child characteristics, parent-reported prevalence, severity, symptoms, diagnostic methods, and reaction history were analyzed as weighted proportions. Adjusted models were estimated to examine the association of child characteristics, reaction history, and diagnosis methods with odds of shellfish allergy and severe shellfish allergy. Among the 38,480 children included in this study, 499 were reported to have a shellfish allergy, corresponding to a prevalence of 1.3%. 

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Childhood food allergies: current diagnosis, treatment, and management strategies.

food-allergies

Food allergy is a growing public health concern in the United States that affects an estimated 8% of children. Food allergy is defined as an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a specific food. Nearly 40% of children with food allergy have a history of severe reactions that if not treated immediately with proper medication can lead to hospitalization or even death. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) convened an expert panel in 2010 to develop guidelines outlining evidence-based practices in diagnosing and managing food allergy. The purpose of this review is to aid clinicians in translating the NIAID guidelines into primary care practice and includes 6 content domains.  READ MORE...

The Pediatrician's Role in the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy

Childhood food allergy is a condition of public health importance and affects an estimated 8% of the population. Until a viable treatment or cure is readily available, improving management practices in clinical, social, and community settings remains essential. To ensure children receive comprehensive care from his or her pediatrician, our recent article in Pediatric Annals describes best practices distilled from the 2010 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases guidelines in food allergy management, including:

  1.  Documentation of a diagnosis based on reaction history;
  2. Appropriate diagnostic testing and test interpretation;
  3. Prescription of potentially life-saving medications;
  4. Counseling and educating patients’ families on prevention and treatment; and
  5. Referral to an allergist.

Pediatricians remain integral in caring for food-allergic children and are often the first, and sometimes only, physician managing a child’s food allergy.