Children with food allergies are more likely to feel isolated by their peers, and suffer from loneliness and anxiety as a result.
That’s the conclusion of research presented at the 2011 Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Meeting by the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) in Venice.
One allergic child in five never attends peers' parties, while one in four always brings along "safe" food. Almost a quarter, 23%, of allergic children don’t want to try new food to vary their diet, while one in ten also stops exercising.
“Allergic children show to be more afraid of being sick and a higher level of anxiety about food than children with diabetes," said Professor Maria Antonella Muraro, Chair of the EAACI Meeting. "The constant alarm surrounding them is taking a toll on their development and well-being."
Allergic patients, especially the younger ones, should carry life-saving devices at all times. They are easy to use, light to carry and discreet, but one out of three patients still leaves home without them.
EAACI recommends that families of allergic children give up smoking and encourage a healthy diet to prevent allergic reactions. Eating fruits and vegetables, increasing the intake of antioxidants and vitamin D can provide the immune system with essential support.