Studies suggest parents are often afraid to give their children epinephrine to stop a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Studies suggest parents are often afraid to give their children epinephrine to stop a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.
Photo Credit: iStockPhoto

Deadly allergies increasing among children: study


A new study suggests what researchers call “a worrisome increase” in the rate of life-threatening allergic reactions. Research shows the percentage of visits to a Montreal hospital emergency room due to anaphylaxis almost doubled over a four-year period.

Reaction can occur in seconds

Anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction that can occur in seconds after exposure to an allergen that could be food, medications, insect venom or latex. It can cause hives, swelling, vomiting, as well as a drop in blood pressure and blood vessels. If it is not quickly treated with life-saving epinephrine it can be fatal.

It’s estimated almost 600,000 Canadians will experience this kind of severe allergic reaction in their lifetime and that more than half are not equipped with the life-saving injector.

Peanuts are a leading cause of dangerous allergic reactions.
Peanuts are a leading cause of dangerous allergic reactions. © Patrick Sison/AP Photo

Some parents afraid to hurt their children with injection

Food caused 80 per cent of the cases in this study, principally peanuts and tree nuts. Children who arrived at emergency without having had a shot of epinephrine needed several of them after their arrival in ER.

“We had previous studies suggest that most parents are either afraid or unsure on the way to give epinephrine given that it’s an injection and they are afraid to hurt their child,” says Dr. Moshe Ben-Shoshan, a pediatric allergist and immunologist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital (MUHC).

“But we need to remember that the side-effects of epinephrine are minimal and the benefit is huge when you give it promptly.” Parents and care-givers need to be educated on this, he says.


Reason for increase not clear

Why anaphylaxis is increasing is not clear. It may be that we were too protective of children introducing potentially-allergenic foods too late in children’s lives, or that better hygiene played a role by not exposing children to enough infection. Lesser theories include a lack of vitamin D or omega 3 fatty acids. Ben-Shoshan says more research is needed to find out so that the increase in dangerous food allergies can be curbed.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Health, Internet, Science and Technology

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


One comment on “Deadly allergies increasing among children: study
  1. Avatar Rita Hoffman says:

    “Reason for increase not clear”. The reason for the increase is absolutely clear. It is due to injections, including the use of vitamin K injection at birth, and then adjuvanted vaccines introduced to infants in Canada in 1992.