"You want to be empowering children to be proactive and managing their medical condition in the healthiest, safest possible way," Dr. Christopher Warren said in an interview at AAAAI 2023.
Late-breaking data showed that 98% of the 4700+ participants with food allergy reported added anxiety when traveling due to their allergy. The study surveyed individuals or their caretakers about managing the risk of anaphylaxis on an airplane.
The data was presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) 2023 Annual Meeting in San Antonio, TX, by lead investigator Christopher Warren, PhD, assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and director of Population Health Research at the Center for Food Allergy and Asthma Research at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Respondents reported receiving inconsistent guidance between booking and getting through security and onto the plane, but what was particularly surprising to Warren, was one in 3 individuals intentionally choose not to disclose that they have an allergy while traveling.
"The most common reason people reported not disclosing is because they were afraid they would get in trouble or have some sort of an unwanted accommodation that they viewed as unhelpful," he explained in an interview, "and that's obviously worrisome for a lot of reasons."
Without knowledge of a person's food allergy, when anaphylaxis begins it's easy to mistake it for a number of other things, which can inhibit the critical time to treat it promptly.
"Also, a lot of these cases were parents reporting on behalf of children, and you'd hate for parents to model that behavior for children where–given the situation–'it's easier to just fly under the radar and deal with this ourselves'," Warren said. "You want to be empowering children to be proactive and managing their medical condition in the healthiest, safest possible way."