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Parents of children with food allergies need more support from dieticians.

15 January 2015

The support of dieticians in providing detailed, individual advice to parents of children with food allergies is a key component of effective food allergy care, according to UK based research published in the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACCAAI).

This understanding comes following focus group research conducted involving 17 mothers with a range of experiences who had received at least one consultation with dieticians about their child’s food allergy. The study presents six themes that related to how the dieticians supported these mothers based on their experience which included; helping them to protect my child and keep them healthy, teach them to become an expert, provide hints/ tips to maintain normality, helps promote their child’s independence, helps fight the child’s corner and provide emotional support.

The research findings suggest that it is important to offer diabetic input as soon as possible after the diagnosis of food allergy to ensure that mothers are confidently to meet their child’s emotional needs and avoid unintentional exposure. Dieticians should provide written material to prevent parents from feeling overwhelmed with information during the first consultation. The parents valued the emotional support provided by the dieticians who understood the difficulties involved in an elimination diet and felt as though more training is required for dieticians on how to provide appropriate emotional support or for psychologists to be part of the allergy checks. 

The research concludes that dietary advice should be a requirement to all parents of food allergic children, however, in the United Kingdom, only a few parents have access to a food allergy dietician. [Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology]

RSSL carries out allergen testing using immunological, DNA and distillation techniques, depending on the allergen to be detected. These include peanut, fish, egg and many others. For more information please contact Customer Services on Freephone 0800 243482 or email enquiries@rssl.com.

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