Children and Food Allergies
Does your child suffer from food allergies? If you answered yes, you're not alone. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), approximately 6 to 8% of children ages 4 and under suffer from some type of food allergy.  The symptoms can range from mild to severe, even life threatening and can occur immediately to within two hours after eating.
The only way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid eating foods that trigger these types of reactions. However, sometimes that is easier said than done, especially for children. A child has no control over what they eat and they are dependent on their parents or other adults to properly feed and care for them. But even the most vigilant parent can't be with their children 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, throughout their child's entire childhood, so what can they do?
Food Allergy Wristbands for Children
Amazon Price: $18.00 $15.50 Buy Now
(price as of Aug 30, 2013)
The wristbands are orange, which represents "caution" and they are 100% silicon and latex free. Each wristband can accommodate four allergy charms plus one red medic charm (to alert people that this is a medical alert wristband). Each wristband comes with 8 allergy charms plus 1 medic charm, and there are currently a total of 15 allergy charms available. Choose from eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, strawberries, sesame, corn, gluten free, coconut and chocolate. In addition, there is a bee allergy charm. If your child has only one food allergy, it is recommended you use four of the same charms plus the medic charm.
Wristbands come in children's sizes XS through XL and can be worn 24-hours a day. They can also be worn in the pool and during playtime. They are so comfortable most children will want to keep them on all the time.
Although any food may cause an allergic reaction, there are 8 foods which cause 9 out of 10 allergic reactions. These foods include wheat products, fish, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, eggs, and milk. Food allergy wristbands come with 8 charms representing these 8 foods.
Folks who suffer from food related allergies have an immune system which is hyper-sensitive to substances/allergens in food or beverages that are otherwise harmless. When a person consumes a food they are allergic to, food allergens then react to antibodies on cells releasing chemicals which cause the allergic reaction.
Symptoms and Diagnosis
Symptoms of a food allergy may include, but are not limited to, hives, swelling and itching of the lips and lining of the mouth, swelling of the tongue, tightness and/or hoarseness in the throat, nausea, cramping ,vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases anaphylaxis, which can be fatal. An allergic reaction can occur immediately or within 2 hours after eating.
If you suspect you have a food allergy, talk with your doctor. There are specific tests he or she can do to determine whether or not your suspicions are correct. Some tests include a skin test, a blood test, an oral food test or an elimination diet test. Your doctor will also check for medical conditions such as a hiatal hernia or an ulcer that can cause symptoms identical to food allergies. Infants can also be tested for food allergy antibodies. People who are lactose intolerant may confuse it with food allergies, however, they are not able to digest lactose because they do not produce enough lactase, not because they are allergic.
Infants and Food Allergies
According to The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) an allergic reaction to cow's milk or soy formula can develop within days or months after birth and they recommend breast-feeding during the first six months. In addition, they also recommend women eliminate certain foods from their diet while breast feeding, including peanuts, cow’s milk, eggs, and fish.
If your child suffers from food allergies you must educate yourself and your child about the dangers of eating specific foods. You should also consider purchasing a food allergy wristband and teaching your child how to use it to make others aware of his/her food allergies. In addition to wearing wrist bands you should consider doing the following:
- Carefully peruse ingredient labels on all food items you are purchasing
- When dining out, always advise the restaurant staff regarding food allergies and inquire about the ingredients used in food preparation.
- When traveling, you should try to stay in hotels equipped with a kitchenette.
Food Allergy Wristbands by Allerbling
Like many businesses, the food allergy wristbands by Allerbling were born out of necessity. When the one-year-old son of the founders was diagnosed with a severe allergy to peanuts, his parents wanted to be sure he would be safe when he was not in their care, but they could not find anything that he could wear. They developed the food allergy wristbands to meet this need. 
The company chose orange as the base color for the wristbands to represent caution. In addition, all the wristbands come with a red medic charm which is an important visual aid to let people know this is a medical alert wristband. Each wristband has five holes that are intended for four allergy charms plus the recommended medic charm. There are currently 15 allergy charms available, these charms including eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, wheat, soy, strawberries, sesame, corn, gluten free, coconut, chocolate and there is also a bee allergy charm. Wristbands come in children’s sizes XS to XL and wristbands and charms are 100% silicone and latex-free.