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An estimated 15 million Americans have food allergies. Of those people, 5.9 million of them are children. That’s a shocking 1 in every 13 children, or about 2 in each classroom.

While you may not be directly affected, for someone with food allergies, even a trace of their allergen could be deadly. On this site you’ll learn what to look for and how you can help prevent food allergic reactions for others.

 
 
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Even the slightest traces of these common foods can cause a serious reaction. Eight food allergens account for the vast majority of allergic reactions. Knowing the basics can help prevent allergic reactions.

 
 
Peanut Allergy

Peanut

 

Egg Allergy

Egg

 

Fish Allergy

Fish

 

Tree Nut Allergy

Tree Nut

 

Wheat Allergy

Wheat

 

Shellfish Allergy

Shellfish

 

Milk Allergy

Milk

 

Soy Allergy

Soy

 

 
 

In addition to the above list, people are allergic to many other foods including sesame, corn, meat, and spices. Learn more about the 8 foods that cause the majority of reactions and others on FARE’s website. 

 
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To help someone who may be having an allergic reaction, it’s critical to first know the signs.  Allergic reactions can seem mild at first, but may become very severe, very quickly.  

In some cases, a reaction may need to be treated with a medicine called epinephrine, most safely given by auto-injector. This is the only medicine that can reverse the symptoms of anaphylaxis—a potentially deadly allergic reaction.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction can vary from person to person.  Here are some of the more serious symptoms to look out for:

 

Allergy Symptom Breathing Cough Wheezing

  Shortness of breath, wheezing, repetitive cough

Allergy Symptom Hoarse Throat Trouble Swallowing

  Tight or hoarse throat, trouble breathing or swallowing

Allergy Symptom Swelling

Significant swelling of the tongue or lips

Allergy Symptom Diarrhea Vommiting

Repetitive vomiting, severe diarrhea

 

If you see someone having an allergic reaction,
call 911 immediately.

Download FARE’s Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan and Recognize and Respond to Anaphylaxis Poster so you’ll be prepared if someone has a reaction.

 
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Although there’s no cure for food allergies, we can all help prevent allergic reactions before they happen. Here are some easy things you can do to help:

 

Prevent Allergy Check With Others

Check with others:

If someone is under your care, find out if he or she has food allergies. If you’re hosting a dinner party or play date, or baking for colleagues at work, check with others first to learn about any food allergies.

Prevent Allergy Cross Contact

Be mindful of cross-contact:

If you learn someone has a food allergy, thoroughly clean counters, utensils, and all food-prep equipment to ensure traces of food allergens are not transferred. Wash these items thoroughly with soap and water to remove traces of food.

Prevent Allergy Wash Hands

Wash your hands thoroughly:

Encourage family members and friends to thoroughly wash their hands before and after eating to help prevent the transfer of food allergens.