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Peanut and Nut Allergies Among Children Spike During Halloween and Easter

by Iswarya on October 6, 2020 at 12:13 PM
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Peanut and Nut Allergies Among Children Spike During Halloween and Easter

Anaphylaxis risk induced by peanut and tree-nut is higher among children during Halloween and Easter, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

The study, led by a research team from the Montreal Children's Hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MCH-MUHC), discovered that most were previously unknown allergies, calling for increased awareness.

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It is not clearly established whether the risk of anaphylaxis induced by peanuts or tree nuts in kids increases at particular times of the year. Hence, the study aimed to assess the risk of peanut-and tree-nut-induced anaphylaxis during specific cultural holidays in Canadian children.

"Identifying certain times linked to an increased risk of anaphylaxis, a serious and life-threatening allergic reaction could help to increase community awareness, support, and vigilance," states Melanie Leung, a fourth-year medical student and Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, an immunologist and pediatric allergist and scientist at the Research Institute of the MUHC, with coauthors. "This information could help identify the best timing for public awareness campaigns to prevent allergic reactions."
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Researchers compared anaphylaxis at Halloween, Easter, Christmas, Chinese New Year, Diwali, and Eid al-Adha.

The study collected data from 1,390 patients visiting participating in pediatric emergency departments between 2011 and 2020 in 4 Canadian provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Newfoundland and Labrador. The average age of patients was 5.4 years, and 62 percent were boys.

The study found an increased risk of anaphylaxis induced by unknown nuts and peanuts during Halloween and Easter among the kids. For peanut-triggered anaphylaxis, the daily average of anaphylaxis cases increased by 85 percent during Halloween and 60 percent during Easter, than the rest of the year. However, researchers did not notice an increase at Diwali, Chinese New Year, Christmas, or Eid al-Adha.

Educational tools are required to increase awareness and vigilance to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis induced by peanuts and tree nuts in kids during these holidays.

Source: Medindia
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