Could YOU Save Someone Who Suddenly Reacts to a Food Allergy?

Nutrition // Chantelle Curtis-Latchford // 12 May 2014

I'm Allergy Aware

 What’s with the one painted fingernail?! It’s a declaration of support for Food Allergy  Week from 12-18th May and represents the one in 10 babies born who develop food allergies.

Food allergies are serious and with one in 10 babies affected it’s essential we ALL know how to help someone who has a reaction. So be aware and show you care during Food Allergy Week!

What’s a food allergy?

Food INTOLERANCE is a chemical reaction and different to a food ALLERGY, which is an immune response where the body mistakes a protein in a food as being harmful.

How does an allergic reaction happen?

The body reacts by releasing chemicals that trigger symptoms that may include hives or sore, red, itchy eyes, a tingling mouth, swelling lips, face, eyes, tongue or throat. These can happen VERY QUICKLY and, if left untreated, can be fatal.  A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis and can be life threatening.

Allergy infographic

Who gets food allergies?

They can develop at any age and affect about 10% of children under age one, 4-8% of kids under five and about 2% of adults. It isn’t necessarily for life and can be outgrown in childhood, but not cured.

What are the most common food allergens?

Peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat and soy are the most common food allergens, causing up to 90% of allergic reactions. The most common food allergens that continue into adulthood are peanuts, tree nuts, seeds and seafood.

How can an allergic reaction be avoided?

There is currently NO CURE for food allergy. The best way to minimise risk of a reaction is to avoid the trigger food. People with food allergies have to be EXTREMELY careful with the foods they eat. Read food labels, ask about ingredients and the possibility of cross contamination as even the smallest amount can cause a reaction.

What is the treatment for food allergies?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a food allergy ALWAYS have your emergency medication on hand. If you suspect or you or someone you know has a food allergy then seek advice from an immunologist or allergy specialist paediatrician and an accredited practicing dietitian.

Get Involved

SHOW YOU CARE for Food Allergy Week from 12-18 May! Paint one fingernail to represent one in 10 babies born developing a food allergy. You can also adopt an allergy for the day or make a donation.

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Meet the Author, Chantelle Curtis-Latchford

After meeting someone who has a Master of Science (Nutrition and Dietetics) with distinctions and who lives by the mantra 'Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live', it's refreshing to discover that Chantelle has a weakness for chocolate. She's the first to admit that no one's perfect, but aiming to be the best version of yourself is wonderful motivation. She keeps fit on four legs and loves horse riding. Read author's full story here

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