May is Food Allergy Action Month
A food allergy occurs when the body has a specific immune response to certain foods. Sometimes, the body’s response can be severe or life-threatening. Food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern, according to the CDC. It is also estimated that between 4 and 6 percent of U.S. children are affected by some type of allergy.
Among other things, Food Allergy Action Month was created to spread awareness about what food allergies are, how to recognize them and how to help someone who is having an allergic reaction.
In 1998, the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, now FARE, created Food Allergy Awareness Week to educate the public about food allergies. This year Food Allergy Awareness Week is May 13-19 and it provides a special opportunity to shine a light on food allergies and anaphylaxis. To learn more, click here.
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction to food include the following:
- A tingling sensation in the mouth
- Swelling of the lips, tongue and throat
- Itching, hives and a rash throughout the body
- Cramping, diarrhea or vomiting
- Wheezing and difficulty breathing
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Loss of consciousness