Allergy Dogs Are Saving Children’s Lives

Posted 9.22.09 | Nutrition Specialist
As many food allergy parents know, sending your little ones off to school or daycare can be a nerve-wracking experience. Without a carefully controlled environment, children could accidentally come into contact with allergenic foods and experience an anaphylactic reaction. And while many schools are making the change to “peanut-free” zones, there are few that prohibit other food allergens such as milk.
Enter Angel Service Dogs. These furry friends are specially trained to sniff out trace amounts of allergens and then alert their handler to these potential threats. These service dogs can shadow young children at school or daycare when parents aren’t around to watch their child’s every move. For example, the dog can enter the cafeteria ahead of the child and sniff out and signal the presence of allergens.
Unfortunately, these life-saving dogs come with a steep price tag - $15,000. But for families like the Slobodians in Lindenhurst, Illinois, the cost is worth it for an extra layer of protection for their daughter Kate. They are working hard to raise the money by hosting special fundraisers in their town.
Hopefully more dogs will be trained to detect allergens and will help make life a bit easier for children with severe food allergies.
- Nita

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Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.