Food Allergies in Children on the Rise: Extension Offers Childcare Provider Training

News

October 9th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Childcare providers in Cass and area counties have an opportunity to learn strategies and practical skills to provide an allergen-safe and healthy environment, for children in their care. ” Just a Bite: Managing Food Allergies in Childcare,” is a training program sponsored by Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. The training helps providers identify common food allergens for children, understand allergen food labeling laws as well as recognize and treat the signs and symptoms of food allergies. The program will be held October 30th, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the ISU Extension and Outreach Office in Atlantic. The program will be conducted by ISU Extension Nutrition & Health Program Specialist Barb Fuller.

According to ISU Extension, the prevalence of food allergies among children is rising. Officials say they have increased 18% in the last 10 years. Food allergies are more common among children, affecting 6-8% of children under age 4 whereas 4% of the adult population has food allergies. The highest incidence of food allergies occurs among children under the age of 3. Almost 1 in 5 of children in that age group have food allergies.

According to Fuller, “The prevalence of food allergies in this age group, can create life-threatening situations if a childcare provider is unaware of the management and treatment of food allergies.” She says “It often takes just a bite of the allergen to cause a reaction.” Fuller adds that “There are eight major food allergens that account for 90% of all food allergy reactions. Food allergies can be easily prevented and treated by knowing some basic principles.” Those principles will be the subject of the October 25th meeting in Atlantic. Call Rebecca at 712-243-1132 for more information or to register by October 25th.