When my daughter Vanessa was about to turn 3 years old, we finally found an asthma and allergist specialist who was able to figure out why her common colds always turned into something much bigger. My poor baby had to go through one of those allergy tests where she got pinched in the back a bunch of times so they could find out to what she was allergic. Turns out she's allergic to several environmental irritants which trigger her mild asthma, but luckily she has no food allergies.

I say luckily because, from what I gather, having a child with food allergies is not only extremely difficult (considering all you have to do to keep him from having a reaction), but it can also be real scary. That's why I was really surprised to hear that one in nine food exposures causing allergic reactions in kids is non-accidental, which means some parents actually give their children know food triggers on purpose. Really?

Read more in ¿Qué más?: Top 12 foods you HAVE to buy organic

That's pretty crazy. But apparently, according to a study by National Jewish Health in Denver, it's true. "Maybe parents were testing their children to see if they had outgrown their allergy," said one of the researchers as an explanation. Honestly, I'd be so scared of the possible consequences, which include difficulty breathing and fainting, that there's no way I'd be able to give my child peanut butter, for example, just to see if he's no longer allergic to it. ¡Qué miedo!

The same study also found that most exposures to common culprits like milk, eggs and peanuts were accidental. And while the majority of allergic reactions were caused by lack of vigilance, over half of the incidents happened when food was provided by someone other than the parents. 

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More than anything else, what the researchers are urging parents and any and all caregivers of children with food allergies is that they educate themselves thoroughly on how to deal with an allergic reaction and that they never let their guard down. 

Do you have a child with food allergies? What are your recommendations? Please share with us by leaving us a comment. 

Image via Vasenka/flickr

About the author

Roxana A. Soto is a Staff Writer for MamásLatinas. She's a bilingual and bicultural journalist born in Peru and raised in Mexico, Argentina, South Africa and Miami. She's also mom to a first-grader and a preschooler. She loves languages, traveling and good food – especially if it's cooked by someone else.

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