The more limited a diet is because of allergies means there's more money being spent.
Food allergies in children are more common than ever, and with this rise of dietary restrictions, parents are spending more and more out-of-pocket. In a new study published by JAMA Pediatrics, an average of $4,200 a year is being spent for a family to tend to the needs of a child with a serious food allergy.
The study states, "Childhood food allergy results in significant direct medical costs for the US health care system and even larger costs for families with a food-allergic child."These costs affect the eight percent of children in the United States who suffer from food allergies—some of the most common being milk, eggs, apples, and peanut allergies. The study also averages the nation’s cost of children’s food allergies to fall around $25 billion.
When a child has a serious allergy, it can be scary for parents, especially when emergency trips to the hospital can be a possible and unfortunately frequent occurrence. These trips, and also regular visits to doctors and pediatricians, contribute to at least half of the average yearly costs. The other half is made up of medications, specialty foods, special care-providers, and even school fees. Sometimes parents have to seek out specific schools that will be able to meet the needs of their children so that they are not constantly worrying whether or not their child will be given something that can harm them.
In the study, many parents express the difficult balance between working with their children’s allergies and the effect it has on their careers. Some parents have to take time off work while others choose to stay at home, or find a position in their child’s school to make sure nothing goes wrong.
Even though catering to a food allergy is expensive, remember these tips to help out the situation.
Quick Tips for Kids With Food Allergies
- Plan meals. Falling into a routine of planning meals for the whole week can help prevent the stresses of, “What can we have for dinner and what will be safe for them to eat?”
- Actively look for coupons. It is a good thing that grocery stores are now including more allergen-free foods, but sometimes these products can be a bit pricey. Sometimes by signing up for online newsletters of specific brands, you can receive helpful discounts from time to time.
- As recommended by doctors, have your children tested and retested for allergies on a regular basis. If food allergies develop for very young children, there is a chance they may grow out of it as they get older. The opposite is also true. Allergies can develop much later in life, so it is a good habit to keep going to that regular check-up.
Despite how shocking the expenses turned out to be, hopefully this study helps bring awareness to the severity of food allergies for children.