Trials aim to rid children of allergies - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Trials aim to rid children of allergies

(NBC News) -

Keeping your kids safe from food allergies is a full-time job.  

So when you can't have your eyes on your kids all the time, how do you keep them safe from that forbidden food?

Some families are taking part in trials and therapies aimed at getting rid of allergies altogether.

"I think I cried for quite some time because he was allergic to so many things."

Martina Manning will always remembers that life-changing moment.

She gave her baby, Reid, who's now 12, some yogurt minutes later, his face broke out in hives.

Doctors soon discovered he had a whole host of allergies.

"It was just scary."

Turns out Reid was allergic not only to yogurt but nuts, wheat, soy, corn, and dairy.

As he got older, all but one of those allergies went away.  

Martina Manning, a Reid's Mom said, "He would lie in bed crying, basically we're talking two or three saying this stinks, this just stinks. I don't understand why I can't have nuts, why I just can't be like other kids."

Turns out Reid isn't alone.

According to the CDC, one in 13 kids have food allergies with 9,500 hospital visits a year.

The number of cases up at least 50 percent.

The most problematic foods, peanuts, tree nuts, and shellfish.

World renowned USF Allergist Dr. Richard Lockey says not so fast.

USF Allergist Dr. Richard Lockey said, "Absolutely, it's being blown out of proportion. Most people don't have a food allergy but when they have a food allergy, they get a reaction and the parents are going to witness that reaction."

So how do you know if it's a reaction?  Dr. Lockey told us it typically happens within 30 minutes of eating the food and that's when parents need to make a bee line to their doctor's office.

Manning said, "I can't go through that anymore. I've spent so many years in fear for my child's life.

Then the game changer, a program that desensitizes some people, like Reid, to peanuts.

Manning said, "But I was so scared to do it because the thought of taking him and having him eat something that could potentially kill him was very frightening."

But after taking that first frightening step. 

Martina's now giving Reid proper peanut proportions.

His body slowly getting used to it.

Similar to FDA clinically approved trials happening right now at USF.

Dr. Lockey said, "Our impression is that we are able to make a lot of them tolerant to peanuts and if not completely tolerant, their tolerant to eat one or two or three peanuts and that no longer causes severe reaction." 

Reid Manning, who's allergic to nuts said, "Something that could kill me. Something that would always be around the corner waiting for me that I would have to avoid."

Now, Reid's just looking forward to eating that first peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Manning said, "It's miraculous because it changes a child's life. They no longer have to live in fear."

90 percent of all food allergies are caused by milk, eggs, wheat, soy tree nuts, fish, shellfish and peanuts.

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