“I want to really crack this nut”: an analysis of parent-perceived policy needs surrounding food allergy

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Abrams, Elissa M
Simons, Elinor
Gerdts, Jennifer
Nazarko, Orla
Povolo, Beatrice
Protudjer, Jennifer L P
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Abstract Background In Canada, anaphylaxis-level food allergy constitutes a legal disability. Yet, no nationwide policies exist to support families. We sought to understand what parents of children with food allergy perceive as the most pressing food allergy-related policy concerns in Canada. Methods Between March–June 2019, we interviewed 23 families whose food allergic children (N = 28mean age 7.9 years) attending an allergy clinic in Winnipeg, Canada. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and analyzed using content analysis. Results Over 40% of children had multiple food allergies, representing most of Health Canada’s priority allergens. We identified four themes: (1) High prevalence. High priority?. (2) Food labels can be misleading, (3) Costs and creative ideas, and (4) Do we have to just deal with the status quo around allergies? Conclusion Food allergy ought to be a national policy priority, to improve the process for precautionary labelling, to improve funding, educational tools access to care, and knowledge of current allergy guidelines.
BMC Public Health. 2020 Aug 01;20(1):1194