Allergy Matters Blog

Allergy Matters Blog

Vegan does not mean milk and egg free

milk and egg
Many people think that vegan foods are free from all animal products, including common allergens such as milk and egg. However, a ‘vegan’ claim is not the same as a ‘free from milk’ or ‘free from egg’ claim. Food labels must still be read, and food allergies disclosed when purchasing or ordering vegan foods. Manufacturers can have a vegan or vegetarian claim on...

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Transition to school and high school

Mother and child
The 2023 school year will be here before you know it. If your child is starting school for the first time in 2023, watching our ‘Transition to school’ video can help you prepare for an easy transition from childcare or preschool to big school. If your child is starting high school, our ‘Transition to high school’ online Q&A will help to answer important questions...

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Vegan foods, tree nut, peanut or other legume allergy

People with tree nut, peanut and other legume allergies should be aware that vegan food often contains these allergens. Vegan cheeses, milks, meals and snacks often contain peanuts, tree nuts and legumes.  It is important to always read food labels including ingredients and any precautionary allergen labelling statement before eating a packaged food. When...

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Tips on how to include children with food allergies in school activities, reduce anxiety and help avoid bullying

Children at school
Children with food allergies are sometimes excluded or bullied. According to a recent study, 1 in 3 children with food allergies experience some form of bullying because of their allergy, whether that’s physical bullying, verbal bullying or social exclusion. Bullying can be teasing a child, chasing them with the food they are allergic to, tricking them into eating...

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What kinds of antihistamines should be used to treat allergies?

There are 2 types of antihistamines available in Australia: First-generation (sedating) antihistamines often cause sleepiness. Examples of sedating antihistamines include Phenergan® and Polaramine®. Second-generation (less sedating or non-sedating) antihistamines that usually do not cause sleepiness. Examples include Claratyne®, Desonex®, Telfast® and Zyrtec®. Antihistamines...

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Insect bites and stings

Bites and stings
As we head into summer and stinging and biting insects are around more, it is important to reduce the risk of being bitten or stung. Here are some suggestions: Wear light-coloured clothing that covers arms and legs Avoid wearing clothes with flowers on them Wear shoes when outside Avoid perfumes, aftershave, body creams and deodorants that have a smell Wear...

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Cosmetics containing food allergens

Always check ingredients in products used on the skin, lips and hair. Food allergens may be present in make-up, skin care products, shampoos and conditioners. Food allergens can even be present in lip products, as shown in the images. We have not heard of a case of someone reacting due to kissing someone whose lip product contains their allergen, but it is something...

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Dehydrated foods for food allergies

Planning on going on a family trip or need a quick and easy-to-carry meal for your child when out and about? Food dehydration may offer a convenient and easy solution for you. What is a food dehydrator? A food dehydrator is a machine that removes moisture content from food. Removing moisture from food helps to prevent bacterial growth and means food can be kept...

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Feeding your food allergen to your child

Parents and carers with food allergies sometimes need to feed their children, or the children in their care, the food that they themselves are allergic to. To help prevent allergies in children, the recommendation is that babies are fed the common allergy-causing foods from around 6 months, when the baby is ready, but not before 4 months. Parents are encouraged...

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Why wear medical identification jewellery?

A&AA recommends medical identification jewellery for all people at risk of anaphylaxis, but we strongly recommend it for insect, latex and drug allergy. The reason for the strong recommendation is that someone with insect allergy is more likely to be found collapsed and unconscious than someone with a food allergy. They are more likely to have a cardiovascular...

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Development of food allergy through food-based skincare products

food-based skincare products
There is growing evidence that skincare products that include food as an ingredient and are used on very dry or damaged skin (broken skin), can lead to development of an allergy to that food. In addition, people with a food allergy should not apply cream or lotions to their skin that contain their food allergen, as it could enter the body through areas of broken...

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Getting ready for spring

Allergic rhinitis (hay fever) is one of the most common allergic conditions, affecting 1 in 5 people in Australia. It is caused by the body’s immune system reacting to allergens in the environment, such as pollen, house dust mite, moulds and animal dander (skin cells and fur). Symptoms can include runny, blocked and itchy nose, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes,...

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Travel with allergies

With people starting to travel again, we thought it was time to let you know that we have lots of resources that will help make your next trip as safe and successful as possible. For those with food allergy travelling to countries that do not speak English, we have translated chef cards to help communicate your allergy to food service staff. ASCIA has a travel...

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An oral food challenge

oral food challenge
When might I be offered an oral food challenge?A clinical immunology or allergy specialist may do an oral food challenge (OFC) to test whether: a certain food is the cause of an allergic reaction when unsure a person still has their previously diagnosed food allergy a food can be tolerated if it is baked, even if it can’t be eaten raw or lightly cooked. This...

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