Startling new research out of Melbourne reveals teenagers suffering anaphylactic reactions are being admitted to hospital at a greater speed than preschool children, prompting calls for peanut allergy testing before students enter high school.
The findings – published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinial Immunology on Thursday – note one in 20 children aged between 10 and 14 live with a food allergy.
While 80 per cent of children with egg and cow's milk allergies outgrow them by age 10, the reverse is true for anaphylaxis. 80 per cent of children will not outgrow their nut allergy.
There are fears many teenagers accustomed to managing their allergy are not informing their high schools putting them at a greater risk of exposure to triggers, sparking the push for a test to ensure educators are aware of any issues.
The most common food allergy is peanut at 2.7 per cent of children, while tree nut came in second with 2.3 per cent.
"The previously reported rise in food-induced anaphylaxis in this age group may reflect an increasing prevalence of food allergy rather than simply increased reporting," says the journal.
Bizarrely, there are indications a chain of events occurred in the 1990's which may have changed immune system development in early life.