USA Today reports children’s food allergies cost nation Americans a total of nearly $25 billion per year. That’s roughly an average of $4,184 a child each year, with $931 coming straight out of parents’ pockets.
An estimated 8% of children in the US have allergies to peanuts, milk, eggs and other common foods.
- More than 3 million kids have been diagnosed with food allergies
- About 200 food-allergy-related deaths are reported each year
- Common food allergies include nuts, cow’s milk, soy, seafood, wheat and eggs
The total tally includes the cost of visits to doctors, hospitals and emergency rooms, a lot of which is covered by insurers. The estimate of $25 billion doesn’t leave out the costs of special foods and of parents missing work or even changing or quitting jobs to care for children.
While long hospital stays are not common, the expenses come in many other ways. Food expenses become a bigger factor, especially when that means relying on expensive specialty stores. When your child has allergies, you can’t rely on sales and coupons to help bring the food bill down.
Parents who spend money on special food, which was 37% of those surveyed, spent an average of $756 a year. Various other out-of-pocket expenses included medical bills and co-pays and the costs of everything from extra child care to special summer camps.
Losing or changing jobs due to a child’s allergy affected about 9%, meaning more than $26,000 for families who made the changes.
When a child has severe allergies, parents must sometimes make tough choices. For example, some parents don’t want to risk leaving their child with anyone, and feel they need to be present at every single school trip and all kids’ parties. Parents’ fears can last into the adolescent years of their child.
Some of these expenses could be minimized if more schools had suitable allergy control and response plans, more grocery stores carried allergen-free food and if more research to find cures was conducted.
Over 50 million kids and adults in the U.S. suffer from allergies or some type of sinus disorder – these conditions are also the 5th leading cause of disease.
Sinus issues and symptoms like a runny nose or itchy eyes may be caused by temporary ailments like the common cold. However, symptoms like these and many others may be a sign of more permanent allergy conditions requiring hands-on treatment.
If you have any questions about your child’s allergy, or would like to schedule an appointment for your individual situation, please contact us today.