Despite the policies restricting foods containing peanuts in a number of schools and day cares, a significant percentage of at risk children are still experiencing moderate to severe peanut allergy reaction. It was found that peanut exposure was actually more likely in the home or at locations that ban peanut products than in places that don't.
In a review of 1,941 at risk children diagnosed with peanut allergy, researchers found that the greatest risk of exposure was in the home. Out of the individuals studied, there were 567 exposures including 429 children. Luckily, only approximately 10 percent were considered severe, and most were only moderate reactions. However, researchers also found that when incidents did occur, patients and medical professionals were unaware of how to appropriately respond.
Nearly 40 percent of severe peanut allergy reactions occurred in the home with less than 10 percent happening at school or day care. As previously stated, the highest frequency occurrences outside of the home were in places where peanuts were banned. It is assumed that guard is down because of the peanut ban causing lackadaisical standards and more frequent accidents. Also noted was that teens and adolescents were at a greater risk of exposure than young children.
Healthcare professionals recommend being constantly vigilant to avoid severe peanut allergy reaction or any related anaphylaxis. Emergency medications such as EpiPen
, EpiPen Jr.
, and the Auvi-Q
can provide emergency relief until medical care is sought for allergic reactions. This preparation is important not only for parents and affected children, but for the entire medical community and first responders as well.