Managing Life With Milk and Egg Allergies
Milk and egg allergies mostly affect children. Since children usually become allergic to milk and egg as toddlers, there are extra precautions that need to be taken simply due to the age of the child. Very young children do tend to put everything within reach in the mouth, including their own hands.
This can present a challenge to parents who need to place a child in a daycare. While most licensed daycares are today well-versed in allergy issues (particularly peanut allergy), not all will be free of hard-to-avoid allergens such as milk and egg.
Before completing enrollment, make an appointment to review allergy practices of the daycare where you’re applying. Can snacks be dairy-free or largely dairy-free (e.g. there are many brands of dairy-free crackers used as snacks)? What are the hand-washing practices following snacks and meals? What is the protocol for wiping down toys which are shared and could get smeared with, say, cheese residue?
The province of Ontario, a leader with school anaphylaxis legislation, now also requires anaphylaxis strategies and risk reduction measures by law at daycares. This is part of the Day Nurseries Act. It is worth lobbying for similar practices in other jurisdictions. See Section 36.1 of this act.
Baked Goods Findings
Milk and egg are among the more challenging allergies to learn to manage – because both are used extensively in packaged food and bakery items. But good news: there is promising, very new research that shows many allergic children are able to tolerate foods containing either milk or egg: as long as they have been cooked thoroughly at a temperature of 350 degrees or higher. The amount of the allergen also is important.
Speak to your allergist about whether your child is a candidate for trying a baked goods challenge (never just try this without the specialist consultation). Research at Johns Hopkins University has shown that many children tolerating thoroughly baked milk or egg can even progress to foods that are less extensively baked, such as pizza. For more, see Milk, Egg Allergy Breakthrough.
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