Allergies in general and food allergies in particular may be becoming more common among children. As many as one in 12 youngsters in the U.S. could be allergic to certain foods. The data were collected in a nationwide online survey of parents. The most common culprits were peanuts, milk and shellfish. According to the authors, as many as 40 percent of the kids with allergies had experienced a serious or life-threatening reaction at some point.
[Pediatrics, June 20, 2011]

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  1. Gordon

    I believe that milk is the main culprit. 50 years ago in elementary school, we were “required” to drink milk. The sniffling and running noses drove the teacher crazy.
    The are co-workers who have thanked me for curing their allergies by the suggestion of not drinking milk.

  2. PP

    Are people confusing allergies and intolerances? Aren’t allergies life-threatening, while intolerances make one uncomfortable with rashes, stomach upsets and the like? I have lactose intolerance, and also intolerances to some foods, but it is just annoying, not a life-or-death situation such as some of these children’s peanut allergies.

  3. Diane from WNY

    Increasing numbers of people and children with allergies in the general population does not surprise me at all. As a previous commenter noted, our children are too clean and not exposed to things that would develop their immune systems. Another side of that problem is the preaching of total avoidance of known allergens. It is my experience that if I am not exposed to the thing I am allergic to, then when I am exposed, my reaction is much much worse.
    If I am exposed to the allergen regularly, then I never have that big reaction. Some of the most recent research has confirmed what I have experienced throughout my allergic lifetime — total avoidance is the worst thing you can do. People have been ill advised for decades.
    Another reason there are more allergic people may be laid at the feet of modern medicine. I probably should have died at the age of seven from an infection resulting from allergies. Because of modern medicine and “wonder drugs” I survived to mature, marry and have three children. Now, instead of having one allergic person or none, we have four in our household. Is it any wonder that the numbers of allergy prone people are increasing? In times past, people like me did not survive to reproduce more of the same!

  4. GD

    My husband and I talk frequently about children with food allergies. Both of us are in our 70’s and we never remember children with allergies or not being able to eat certain foods when we were children.
    When our grandchild was born, no one could touch her unless they had just washed their hands thoroughly, even though we are a very clean family. I don’t think this child has ever been exposed to any kind of dirt or germs, other than what she may pick up at school and she’s been trained about that.
    So, she has allergies and gets sick often. We just feel that the children today have no immunity system and been over protected. I would hate to tell you how much dirt or clay I ate as a child.

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