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Monday, February 11, 2008

Rounding To Zero

There has been recent press about the fact that the rise in the incidence of food allergy may not be based on sound data. Authors have referred to anaphylaxis fatality estimates as a 'wild guess' or cited research that indicates that "the incidence of food allergy is not on the rise".

Does this matter? Yes and no.

It matters insofar as increasing food allergy incidence makes for good press and has generated significant awareness. It matters insofar that as food allergy becomes more common children with severe food allergy would be be afforded protection for their life threatening disability.

On the flip side the statistics do not really that much in our home. Though food allergy incidence in children is in the 5-6% range, it is 100% in our children. (Our second daughter has had a mild allergic reaction to mushrooms). Which number do you think is more important in our home?

The math is also less relevant since even a single child should be afforded protection in a school setting. It is critical that food allergic children participate equally with their peers at school and in social gatherings.

Overall I do hope that the incidence of allergy is lower. Though we have become comfortable with the management of out daughters' allergies, it would be great if fewer parents have to manage a severe food allergy. Though the allergy is a key part of what makes our daughter who she is, living with a constant fear of an anaphyalctic reaction is very difficult for parents.

1 comment:

Gabs said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Well said!