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Research Shows Allergies in Children Becoming More Common and Severe

According to a new national survey, 8 percent of children in the US suffer from a food allergy – many more than expected. The research – funded by FAI and the largest study of its kind – found that 5.9 million children under 18 have a food allergy, and almost 40% of these children have a severe or potentially life-threatening allergy.

“This study confirms what so many families already know: food allergy is a large and growing public health problem,” said Mary Jane Marchisotto, FAI’s executive director. “In 2008, the Centers for Disease Control estimated that food allergies affected 1 in 25 children; now it’s 1 in 13. That translates into 2 children in every classroom. It is especially disturbing to see how many of these children have multiple food allergies and have already experienced life-threatening reactions. From previous research, we know that food-allergic reactions send an adult or child to the emergency room every three minutes—every six minutes for potentially fatal reactions. Every day, we hear from families who are struggling with the emotional, physical, and economic impact of food allergies. That’s why FAI is committed to accelerating the pace of clinical trials that will lead to new therapies and, ultimately, a cure.”

A new online course, How to C.A.R.E.™ for Students with Food Allergies, will prepare school personnel how to deal with potentially life threatening food allergy and anaphylaxis emergencies. The course launches in August 2011 on the Allergy Ready website. FAI helped to develop the course with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). You can learn more about the expert development team here. The course provides interactive education for school staff and emphasizes the need to create an allergy-smart school environment for students with food allergies. The online course helps educators comprehend the basic facts about food allergy, symptoms of a reaction, and effective treatment for reactions.

Learn more about the research study on the FAI website

Learn more about FAI-funded research

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About Dr. Anthony Levinson

Dr Anthony J Levinson, MD, FRCPC, MSc, MA Director, Division of eLearning Innovation John R Evans Chair in Health Sciences Educational Research and Instructional Design Associate Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster Univerity Vice-President and Chief Learning Officer, Leap Learning Technologies Inc

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