A US study suggests that, though camps will accept 🧒 children with allergies, most are not prepared to act if something happens as often they don’t have or request individualized action plans.
🏕It seemed camps that had faced anaphylactic events in previous years were better trained and able to recognize it than others who didn’t.
Despite that, one-third of camp leaders did not think most staff would be able to act appropriately.
Though this study was not done in the UK, I would suggest👫 parents need to be aware of the possibility of the same happening in summer camps here or any other country where they might send their children to.
⚠️The main lessons to take from this study are:
🔹️Enquire if the staff at the summer camp is trained to deal with allergic conditions, mainly anaphylaxis.
🔹️See what policies and emergency measures they have in place, e.g. contacts for local ambulance service, GP or Hospital.
🔹️Provide action plans specifically for your child. If you don’t have one, ask your Paediatric Allergist to provide a BSACI action plan.
🔹️See if your child’s medication did not expire and take them to the camp, in a clearly marked container, potentially with a photo of your child outside it.
🔹️You don’t stand to lose anything by asking if the food your child is allergic to is excluded from the camp, and other children cannot bring it with them there.
🏫As more and more nurseries/schools are becoming nuts free, it would not be a bad idea for summer camps to follow suit.
(Many Summer Camps Unprepared for Allergic Campers - Medscape - Dec 10, 2019)
🤧 It is a reaction from our immune system to something we got in contact with that the immune system did not recognize as "safe".
This can happen to a multitude of substances, with the best known being 🥘foods, 🐈pet dander, pollen, house dust mites, 🐝bee or wasp venom. But chemicals can also lead to those reactions.
The substance that causes such a reaction is called an "allergen".
Allergens can be found all around us.
In 🥘food, 🍵drinks, environment, being them airborne (which can be either 💦droplets or minuscule solids) or solids we get in contact with.
The primary reaction that will happen is the immune system trying to destroy that "invader" (allergen), and for that, it uses a significant amount of the immune mediators.
The outcome is an allergic reaction that can come in all sorts of presentations and severity.
Saying that not all allergens we get in contact with will make our immune system react.
Some are relatively harmless, depending on each individual's immune system and, often, prior exposure to that substance.
What are the most common allergens in children?
🔸️ Tree nuts
How does it affect 👶children:
🔸️Increased risk of developing allergies if one/both 👫parents are atopic
🔸️33% with moderate/severe eczema may present with a food allergy
🔸️There is a close relationship between asthma, 👃allergic rhinitis and food allergy in school-age
🔸️Food allergy is associated with severe asthma
The outcome of the allergies depends on the food the child is allergic to.
🔸️ Milk and egg - usually resolved by teenage years
🔸️ Wheat and soy - those are transient allergies of childhood
🔸️ Peanut and tree nut - typically starts in childhood and only 20% resolve
🔸️ Fish - it is often lifelong
Milk, soy, egg and wheat - are the most common foods involved in non-IgE mediated food allergy.
Dr Costa is a Consultant Paediatrician and fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.