What’s The Difference Between An Allergy And Intolerance?
Food allergies and food intolerances are both a type of food sensitivity. When someone has a food allergy, their immune system reacts to a particular food as if it isn’t safe. If a food allergy is severe, the exposure to that food can cause a life-threatening reaction. This means that people with food allergies, and in particular a peanut allergy, need to be extremely careful about what they eat.
Food intolerance doesn’t involve the immune system and is generally not life-threatening. But if someone eats a food they are intolerant to, this could make them feel ill or affect their long-term health.
Food Allergies In Children
Food allergies in children are becoming more common in the UK, with between 2.2% – 5.5% of children suffering their first allergic reaction in the first year of life (Du Toit, 2009).
The most common food allergies in children are cow’s milk, hen eggs, wheat, soya, peanut, tree nuts, sesame and kiwi. The majority of children outgrow their cow’s milk or egg allergy between the age of 5 or 6, however peanut and tree nut allergies are seen as troublesome, as these are seldom outgrown.