The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launches the Food Allergy Campaign.
Allergies become epidemic: Food allergy sufferers double in the last 10 years
and life-threatening allergic reactions in children, such as
anaphylaxis increased 7-fold in the last decade.
A third of all allergic shocks in children occur for the first time at school with teachers largely
“International Minimum Standards for the Allergic Child at
School” document pushes for minimum requirements for the safety of allergic
children at school.
Most common food allergies in children are egg,
cow’s milk and nuts.
EAACI will work throughout 2012-2013 to establish the Food Allergy and
Anaphylaxis Guidelines for General Practitioners, Allergy
Specialists, Food Industry as well as Primary Care workers and Community reference
Today the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) launched its Food Allergy
Campaign. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the sharp increase of anaphylaxis in
children, an allergic reaction that is severe and potentially
life-threatening. It aims at educating the public to recognise the symptoms and its
triggers, and to teach methods of how to react in case of
emergency, e.g. by using an adrenaline pen.
“The first element of this campaign is the launch of the International Minimum
Standards for the Allergic Child at School document that establishes minimum
requirements for the safety of allergic children at
A third of all life-threatening allergic reactions occur at school where children are exposed to an environment of new foods and are at risk of coming into contact with trigger
We plan to have the standards established and the patient version of the International Minimum Standards for the Allergic Child at School document ready for publication in the next
few months”, announced Prof Cezmi Akdis, EAACI
More than 17 million people in Europe suffer from food
allergies, with 3.5 million younger than 25 years. The sharpest increase is seen in children and young people, especially in
the number of life-threatening allergic reactions in
In continental Europe the most common food allergy in children is to
egg, cow’s milk and tree-nuts, while in adulthood it is to fresh
fruit, nuts and vegetables.
In the UK, walnuts, hazelnuts and peanuts pose the biggest threat and cause 50% of all life-threatening
Allergy to shellfish and cod prevails in Scandinavia and Northern
Europe. Across Europe, food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis in children aged 0-14.
The campaign also aims to teach the differences between food intolerances and food
Food intolerances do not directly involve the immune system.
Therefore, it cannot be measured by allergy tests.
Lactose intolerance is a non-allergic hypersensitivity and reactions to food additives are mostly
In general, the symptoms of non-allergic hypersensitivity are milder and therefore are rarely lifethreatening
Aim is to improve food labelling and broaden access to anaphylaxis treatment.
The EAACI Food Allergy Campaign is also going to engage with EU authorities to improve
food labelling and to facilitate access to anaphylaxis emergency treatment.
For more information
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI)