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May is Food Allergy Awareness Month

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EAU CLAIRE (WQOW) - May is Food Allergy Awareness Month, and according to the CDC, eight percent of children - one in every 13 - have a food allergy.

The eight most common food allergies - milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish and fish - make up 90 percent of all reactions. Hives and shortness of breath are common signs of an allergic reaction.

Dr. Adela Taylor, an allergist at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, said a misconception is that parents should avoid introducing their children to foods that could potentially lead to an allergic reaction.

"Pediatricians are now encouraging new parents to introduce all types of soft foods as appropriate for the development for infants," Taylor said. "That type of introduction of a variety of different foods is proving to be better at preventing food allergies."

Just last week, the USDA recommended parents feed their kids milk, peanuts, eggs and shellfish as early as six months old to avoid allergies later on.

Taylor said that families should review how to use an epinephrine auto-injector - EpiPen - before an allergic reaction occurs.

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Evan Denton

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