Are nut allergy risks over-exaggerated for children?

nut allergy

Are nut allergy risks over-exaggerated for children?

Allergies are scary when we look at the statistics. In the UK, peanut allergies affect around one in 50 children but they have been increasing over the last few decades. But these children with existing peanut allergies are also at increased risk of developing tree nut allergies with a likelihood of around 30-40%.  

We know these allergies can be severe, causing anaphylaxis. With the high number of people living with nut allergies, it’s easy for many to be wary of the harmful effects of an allergic reaction. These severe reactions lead to a lot of concern among parents and caregivers for children. But are the risks of nut allergies a little overblown in the UK?

Low risk of fatality

Despite the severity of anaphylaxis, deaths from food allergies in children and adults are very rare in the UK. There are an average of ten deaths per year from food-related anaphylaxis including both children and adults. That includes all food, not only nuts. In the UK, the most common cause of death in children aged 1 to 14 years is cancer, accounting for around 250 deaths per year.

The risk of complications

When we compare the numbers, it may seem as if allergy risks are overblown. However, even though an allergic reaction to nuts may not often result in a fatality, it can still lead to severe problems and hospitalisation. 

An anaphylactic shock can obstruct airways and cause blood pressure to drop. Without prompt treatment, it can leave people with brain damage from the lack of oxygen. It can even be so severe as to cause a coma. 

Allergies are serious

It’s no wonder many children and parents live their lives in a state of anxiety because of a nut allergy. They are serious and can cause life-altering conditions, if not death. We don’t blow the risks from nut allergies out of proportion in the UK. 

If anything, we need better awareness in schools and among caregivers to safeguard more children from the risk of anaphylaxis. However, with the right treatment and prevention methods, you can easily minimise the risks to a child with a nut allergy, allowing them to enjoy their childhood and live life to the full. 

All you need to do is to book an appointment with one of our specialist consultants. They can test you or your child for allergies and advise you on the best treatments to put your mind at ease. If you would like, you can book an appointment here.

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