Dr. John Wheeler, McFarland Clinic’s newest member of the Allergy & Immunology Department, offers parents some quick facts on food allergies in children. For more information about food allergies or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Wheeler or one of his department colleagues, contact the Allergy & Immunology Department at 515-239-4482.
Q: What symptoms should I look for in my children that could indicate a food allergy?
A: Any combination of the following may indicate a food allergy: Urticaria (hives), edema (swelling), wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, stomach pain/cramping, vomiting, or diarrhea associated with eating.
Q: What should I do if I suspect my child has a food allergy?
A: If your child has an allergic reaction, seek medical help immediately. Raise the concern with your primary care doctor and come and see the allergist.
Q: What’s the best way to manage my child’s food allergies?
1. Food testing through your allergist.
2. Medications including Epi-pen if needed.
Q: How can I work with my child’s teacher and school to monitor their allergies and any allergic reactions?
1. Provide the teacher with an allergy action plan.
Provide the teacher the contact information for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (www.foodallergy.org
), a helpful resource.
Q: How can my child’s food allergies impact their health in other ways?
Food allergies can be source of division – a place where some may be excluded – or they can be a place where people come together to provide information and support. Children who are raised in fear of foods may have diets that are too restricted, while children who are provided information and support thrive.