Each year, millions of Americans have allergic reactions to food. Food allergies can range from relatively mild symptoms to severe reactions that can be life-threatening.
Allergic reactions can include hives, flushed skin or rash; tingling or itchy sensations; swelling of the face, tongue, or lips; vomiting and/or diarrhea; abdominal cramps; coughing or wheezing; dizziness and/or light-headedness; swelling of the throat, difficulty talking or breathing; and/or loss of consciousness. Symptoms of food allergies typically appear within a few minutes to a few hours after a person has eaten the food to which he or she is allergic. If you have a child in your care that has a food allergy, always keep an Epinephrine auto-injector (EpiPen or Auvi-Q and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) on hand for emergencies. It is important to have a system to identify children that have food allergies and alert all staff in your center to decrease the risk of exposure. The eight foods that most commonly trigger an allergic reaction are:
7. Tree nuts (e.g., walnut, almond, hazelnut, cashew, pistachio, Brazil nuts)