Peanuts and shellfish aren’t the only food items a person needs to look out for when it comes to food allergies.
In fact, the number of food allergies has reached such a level that organizations are looking to help raise awareness around the world.
Locally, FamilyHealth Medical Clinics, Northfield Hospital & Clinics and Just Food Co-op will be leading a seminar on food allergies in children on Thursday.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies affect one in 13 children, which is roughly two kids in every classroom across the U.S. This number has increased more than 50 percent since 1997.
Thursday’s seminar will be held to not only help inform parents and community members about the risks, but to also highlight the symptoms of food allergies.
“Attendees will learn what food allergies are and are not, along with some related conditions such as FPIES (Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome),” said Nona Narvaez, executive director of the Anaphylaxis & Food Allergy Association of Minnesota (AAFA), in an email. “They will learn how food allergies affect the person’s body and their social, school or work environment and how to manage allergens in a kitchen or other location. And they will learn when and how to use emergency medication, which can save someone’s life.”
According to Nancy Ott, MD, a pediatric allergist from FamilyHealth Clinic — Lakeville, up to 8 percent of children have a food allergy.
And some of those can be life-threatening. Ott said often times the most severe reactions occur away from home.
But, by attending the event, Narvaez and Ott hope to prevent some potentially deadly interactions.
“Without understanding what food allergies are and how dangerous they can be, it is impossible to understand the necessity of safe school and social environments,” said Narvaez. “And for those that already understand, our seminar will help formulate how to create safe spaces and events that are inclusive of children with this medical condition.”
For more information about the event, visithttp://justfood.coop/.