Food allergies can have a significant impact on allergy suffers' health, but the effects are much more far-reaching than that. Food allergies can also have a substantial emotional impact. This year, an education researcher in Bankstown, Australia is planning to study how children deal with food allergies. The research will focus on the social and emotional impact of severe allergies on kids and their parents.
According to researcher Prathyusha Sanagavarapu will be looking at how food allergies affect a child's self esteem and other social and emotional aspects of their life. Dr. Sanagavarapu says that many such kids feel left out because their lunchboxes contain different foods than their classmates are allowed to eat. Anxiety surrounding food choices can lead to eating disorders and other emotional issues.
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Dr. Sanagavarapu says that there are steps parents and teachers can take to lessen the impact of food allergies among kids. “Parents can only feel confident to leave their children at school if they know that educators are knowledgeable about food allergy and they can handle food-related emergencies,” she said, “If parents have this confidence, the transition to school will be a much more pleasant experience for everyone.”