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Study: Food allergies and children

little girl eating icecream

Food allergies among children are on the rise. The number of children diagnosed with food allergies has increased by 18 percent in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Jessilyn Humble, MD, a pediatrician with Ascension Medical Group in Pittsburg, recommends parents keep these key points in mind when it comes to food allergies:

•  The 8 foods that account for most food-induced allergic reactions include milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish and wheat.

•  Warning signs of an allergic reaction include hives, vomiting, diarrhea, cough/difficulty breathing and swelling occurring within minutes to no more than two hours after ingestion, and occur with repeat ingestion.

•  Avoid allergic reactions by carefully reading food labels for ingredients; when dining out, ask about ingredients and how food is prepared; and avoid passing allergens to food by washing hands.

•  Can food allergies be prevented? Research shows that early introduction of allergens like peanuts may prevent peanut allergy.

"A good time to talk to your pediatrician about food introduction would be at your child's 4- and 6-month well checkups," Humble added.

If you’d like to talk to a pediatrician or family medicine physician about food allergies and children, call

  • Manhattan – 785-565-2900
  • Pittsburg – 620-235-7612
  • Wichita area: Ascension Medical Group - visit or for more information, call 316-274-7222 

Via Christi is part of Ascension, the largest nonprofit health system in the U.S. and the world’s largest Catholic health system.

About Michelle Kennedy

Michelle Kennedy is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Ascension Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg, Ascension Via Christi in Fort Scott and Wamego Health Center. She is a proud wife and mom and loves cooking, camping and spending time outdoors, her dogs and reading.