A new study has found that parents of kids with milk and egg allergies tend to be more stressed out than parents of kids with peanut allergies.
Researchers at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI) studied 305 caregivers and asked them to talk about their children’s most severe reactions — as well as how the allergy has affected their life.
Those who could pinpoint exactly which foods their child was allergic to — and how their child would react to those foods — were reportedly less anxious. Parents of children with milk and egg allergies were found to have the highest levels of stress, because milk and eggs are used in so many different dishes and commercial products.
Although peanut allergies are more common than egg and milk allergies, a cow’s milk allergy is the most common food allergy in infants and young children.
Many parents argue there are also more safeguards in place to protect people with peanut allergies. While peanut-products are clearly labeled now — for the most part — it can be difficult to find packaged foods that advertise themselves as milk-free or egg-free.
It’s also challenging to detect milk or egg ingredients just by reading a label, because there are many different ways to describe them. Egg ingredients might be listed as “globulin,” “albumin,” “lecithin,” or “lysozyme.” Milk ingredients might be listed as “casein,” “lactose,” “lactate solids,” or “whey protein.”
Traces of milk products can also find their way into unexpected places. Deli meat slicers are often used for cheese as well as meat. Casein — a milk protein — can be found in anything from canned tuna to sidewalk chalk. Restaurants somes dip their seafood in milk before cooking it, or put butter on their steaks for extra flavor.
The top eight food allergens — that account for close to 90 percent of all reactions — are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (like almonds, cashews, and walnuts), shellfish, soy, and wheat.
Food allergies can be stressful for any family, so it’s important to make sure everyone knows what is safe to eat — and what to avoid — as well as what to do in an the event of a reaction.
H/T to The Science World Report