Food Allergies in Kids: More Common Than We Thought?

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Food Allergies in Kids: Constant Worry for Parents

Unfortunately, there's little parents can do to limit the risk of food allergies in their children.

"Parents always worry they did something wrong, but there's nothing they did. If we knew what to do we'd tell them," Hartz said. However, "breastfeeding for the first six months has been shown to protect against food allergies to some extent," she added.

Some promising treatments for severe food allergies, such as desensitization therapy, are on the horizon. But the approach, which uses tiny doses of processed foods, such as peanut flour, to slowly tame the immune response is "not ready for prime time," Hartz said.


Kline McCormac, 2, wearing one of his allergy t-shirts, with his mom, Loren.

In the meantime, it falls upon parents like McCormac to do all they can to limit the exposure risk for their kids. McCormac debated sending Kline to preschool in the fall, but said she's having second thoughts.

"It's just scary. He has only been with my husband and me," she said, adding that she'll only leave Kline with "Grammy" when he's asleep.

McCormac knows it will be tough for Kline to accept that he can't have certain treats at school or at birthday parties.

"How I wish my baby could go to a party and eat everything there, pizza, ice cream and cake, or go to a restaurant," McCormac said, having visions of worriedly following him to parties into his teens to make sure he doesn't indulge. "I just hope he grows out of it or they figure out how to help him."

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