The number of people in the United States who are impacted by food allergies continues to grow every year, and a reasonable chunk of these individuals are children. Research estimates that about 6 million children suffer from food allergies in the US, part of an overall trend that includes broad food allergy numbers increasing significantly in the last two decades.
At Smart Kids Development Center, our day care center staff is well-versed on common child food allergies and all related factors as part of our child care, preschool and afterschool programs. We’ve dealt with all sorts of major food allergies before, and we know just how to handle any needs your child may have here. For parents who may be new to this theme, here are some basics on food allergy symptoms and how to proceed if you discover your child has a significant food allergy.
First and foremost, it’s important to understand what a food allergy really is. Allergies of all types come from the body’s immune system improperly recognizing a threat, in this case proteins it thinks are harmful from the food being ingested. It launches its defense system to respond to this perceived threat, often even in cases where only tiny amounts of the food in question were consumed.
Technically speaking, everyone reacts differently to food allergy attacks. That said, some of the most common symptoms may include:
If it’s discovered early in your child’s life that they have a major food allergy, often through tests done by your doctor during their infant years, you need to be prepared moving forward. The primary task here is being diligent about reading food and drink labels – you need to know exactly what’s in the items your child consumes, down to the least-used ingredients. Especially for any processed foods you consider buying, read the full label and ensure there are no traces of allergens that might be dangerous to your child.
In addition, if you plan to send your child to a day care facility like Smart Kids or any other such child care location, it’s important to inform the staff of your child’s dietary needs and any restrictions in place. If possible, supply them with a detailed list of foods they cannot eat or be exposed to, plus some good alternatives if the foods in question are common. We’ll be happy to work with you and follow any and all restrictions or needs for your child to ensure they stay safe.
For more on child food allergies and how to steer clear of them, or to learn about any of our child care programs, speak to the staff at Smart Kids Development Center today.