Food allergies becoming epidemic among kids - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Food allergies becoming epidemic among kids

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

If you're an adult, you probably remember mom baking cookies or cupcakes to bring to school for your birthday, or other special occasions, but no more.

Food allergies have become an epidemic among school-age children. It's a problem that's turned life upside-down, because for some kids, just sitting near a classmate eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, could be fatal.

Derek Booth's party to celebrate his 6th birthday was held at Jumpology. Indoor trampolines are a big attraction when you're in the first grade and his mom invited everyone in his class, but some parents wouldn't allow their kids go.

It wasn't a fear of jumping. It was the cupcakes, the ice cream, the candy, and the soft drinks. The explosion of pediatric food allergies have parents on edge, and when declining the invitation, one mother didn't mince words.

"I just don't like my child to come to birthday parties like this, because its so severe, just to be around the items. It's a major concern for them," said Kim Booth.

Derek's party was still a success. His grandmother, Connie, taught school in Henrico for more than 20 years. She still wanted the kids to be able to celebrate, so she did the only thing the county would allow.

"We bought a gross of paw-print pencils, and took pencils and gave them to everyone in the classroom, rather than taking treats that were food," said Connie Booth.

If you like sweet treats, there's no better place to linger than the bakery at Whole Foods Market. All of their homemade cakes, pies and pastries have very clear labeling, with all of the ingredients, so there is no confusion for people with food allergies. They even sell pre-packaged treats, designed especially to be school safe.

Kids with peanut allergies should be concerned about products, even if they don't have peanuts in them. Cupcakes on one shelf made without any peanut products, could become cross-contaminated by mini-turtle cheese cakes, with pecans on top. The cross-contamination could be enough to send a child into anaphylactic shock.

Well known allergy specialist, Dr. William Hark, demonstrated new, high tech EpiPens he prescribes his food-allergy patients. The food-allergy epidemic is worldwide, and lifestyle changes seem to be at least part of the reason.

"Farming, hunter-gatherers, they have a very low instance of allergies in general. You take the same people and move them into the city, and their rate of allergies increases," said Dr. Hark.

At Godwin High School, in Henrico's Far West End, the school nurse keeps EpiPens on hands for 31 students with food allergies. There are about 1,700 students.

In the more rural Louisa County High School, with a population of about 1,400 kids, the nurse has only 13 EpiPens on hand.

Cleanliness may be a big issue. We've become a germ-phobic society that overuses antibiotics. We're too clean, which in turn, confuses our immune system, possibly sparking food allergies and asthma.

"Instead of fighting bacteria, viruses and parasites, it tends to overreact to allergens, foods and things in the air."

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

  • FOX19 HeadlinesMore>>

  • Starbucks incident highlights perils of shopping while black

    Starbucks incident highlights perils of shopping while black

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 4:53 PM EDT2018-04-18 20:53:18 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:56 AM EDT2018-04-19 09:56:07 GMT
    (Mark Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP). Camille Hymes, center, regional vice president of Mid-Atlantic operations at Starbucks Coffee Company, speaks with Asa Khalif, of Black Lives Matter, right, after protesters entered the coffee shop, Sunda...(Mark Bryant/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP). Camille Hymes, center, regional vice president of Mid-Atlantic operations at Starbucks Coffee Company, speaks with Asa Khalif, of Black Lives Matter, right, after protesters entered the coffee shop, Sunda...

    The handcuffed arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks served as a fresh reminder of the perils of "retail racism" that African-Americans and minorities encounter on a regular basis.

    Full Story >

    The handcuffed arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia Starbucks served as a fresh reminder of the perils of "retail racism" that African-Americans and minorities encounter on a regular basis.

    Full Story >
  • FAA orders fan blade inspections after jet engine explosion

    FAA orders fan blade inspections after jet engine explosion

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:02 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:02:22 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-19 09:55:21 GMT
    (NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...(NTSB via AP). National Transportation Safety Board investigators examine damage to the engine of the Southwest Airlines plane that made an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport in Philadelphia on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. The Southwes...

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    Full Story >

    The Federal Aviation Administration's announcement late Wednesday comes nearly a year after the engine's manufacturer recommended the additional inspections, and a month after European regulators ordered their airlines to do the work.

    Full Story >
  • Southwest Airlines pilot lauded as hero for handling crisis

    Southwest Airlines pilot lauded as hero for handling crisis

    Thursday, April 19 2018 12:52 AM EDT2018-04-19 04:52:13 GMT
    Thursday, April 19 2018 5:37 AM EDT2018-04-19 09:37:02 GMT
    (Thomas P. Milne/U.S. Navy via AP). In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, Lt. Tammie Jo Shults, one of the first women to fly Navy tactical aircraft, poses in front of an F/A-18A with Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 34 in 1992. After lea...(Thomas P. Milne/U.S. Navy via AP). In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, Lt. Tammie Jo Shults, one of the first women to fly Navy tactical aircraft, poses in front of an F/A-18A with Tactical Electronics Warfare Squadron (VAQ) 34 in 1992. After lea...
    The Southwest Airlines pilot being lauded as a hero in an emergency landing after a passenger was partly blown out of the jet's damaged fuselage is also being hailed for her pioneering role in aviation.Full Story >
    The Southwest Airlines pilot being lauded as a hero in an emergency landing after a passenger was partly blown out of the jet's damaged fuselage is also being hailed for her pioneering role in aviation.Full Story >
Powered by Frankly