Braxton Peel was 2 1/2 when residue from a handful of peanuts her grandmother had eaten hours earlier sent her body into a severe allergic reaction.
Braxton’s mom, Andrea Peel of Little Rock, was at work when she answered a call from her mother-in-law.
“By the time I got there, she honestly did not look like my child,” says Peel, who had jumped in her car right away.
The number of U.S. children reported to have food allergies similar to Braxton’s increased by 18 percent between 1997 and 2007, in preschool and school-age children, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which defines food allergies as “a potentially serious immune response to eating specific foods or food additives.”
The reason for the increase is something of a mystery, doctors say. See tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for more.