Food Allergy Awareness Week and National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) declares May to be “National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.” It’s a peak season for people with allergies and asthma and a perfect time to educate patients, family, friends, school staff, coaches, and other people about these diseases.
AAFA’s food allergy division, Kids with Food Allergies (KFA), honors Food Allergy Awareness Week the second full week of May. In 2023, it occurs May 14-20.
Quick Facts (Download Fact Sheet):
- About 20 million people in the U.S. have food allergies (4 million are children).1,2
- Food allergies can develop at any time, but it starts in childhood most often.3
- Any food can cause food allergy. The most common food allergens in the United States are peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, soy, and sesame.3
- Children with food allergies are more likely to have asthma or other allergic diseases.3
- Each year in the U.S., it is estimated that anaphylaxis to food results in 90,000 emergency room visits.4
- Severe allergic reactions to food need prompt treatment with epinephrine.3
- Although new treatments are being developed, there is currently no cure for food allergies.5
Get Involved and Take Action:
This year’s theme is debunking myths and misinformation about asthma and allergies, including what causes them and how to treat them. Use our resources and tools to spread awareness during May and all year long
Key Dates in May for Food Allergy Awareness
May 1-31: See all of our 31 Days of Action for National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Asthma and allergic diseases impact more than 100 million people in the United States. Take action to help people better understand food allergies and asthma.
- Download and share our fact sheets on food allergies (PDF) and asthma (PDF) and our awareness images throughout the month.
- Sign up for KFA’s e-newsletter to get the latest information about food allergies.
- Follow KFA on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest!
May 2: World Asthma Day! This year’s global theme is “Asthma Care for All.”
- Advocacy Action Day! Use our widget to ask your elected officials to support programs and laws that help improve the lives of people with asthma and food allergies.
May 6: Medicines are most effective when used properly. Get the facts about how and when to use epinephrine.
May 8: Make a donation today! Your donations allow us to provide life-saving education and information to the more than 100 million people in the U.S. with asthma and/or allergies.
May 10: Bust some asthma and allergy myths during our #AllergyReady Twitter chat with the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI) and David Stukus, MD, at 1 p.m. ET. Follow @AAFANational and @KFATweets.
May 14-20: Food Allergy Awareness Week (FAAW) and National Eosinophil Awareness Week.
- Join our KFA community and share food allergy facts and images. Offer inspiration, support, understanding, and hope by sending an invitation to someone who has been newly diagnosed with a food allergy.
- Learn about eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a form of food allergy.
May 15: Find safe foods and recipes. Visit KFA’s Safe Eats® Recipe Collection for tasty recipes that just happen to be free from most of the most common allergens. KFA’s Allergy Friendly Foods Collection has new food finds from candy to frozen food and everything in between.
May 16: Drop in on KFA’s social media today as we ask the experts about common food allergy misinformation.
May 17: Eosinophilic [EE-oh-sin-oh-FILL-ick] esophagitis [uh-sof-uh-JIE-tis] − “EoE” for short − is an allergic condition that causes swelling in your esophagus (swallowing tube). Learn more about EoE and share one of our images to raise awareness.
May 18: Tune in for an Instagram Live: The Allergy Chef X KFA at 8 p.m. ET. AAFA’s Kathy P. (@kidswithfoodallergies) and Kathlena, (@TheAllergyChef), will cook awesome food and answer your questions about cooking free of food allergens on a budget.
May 26: Take part in Remembrance Day to honor the memories of people lost to asthma or allergy. Visit a park and honor them by blowing bubbles (a more environmentally friendly option than releasing a balloon).
May 27: Prepare for the next school year! Get the facts about school care plans to manage your student’s asthma or food allergies. Our information hubs have resources for parents, school nurses, and school staff to help manage asthma and allergies at school. Visit KFA’s School Zone for food allergies.
1. Ng, A.E. & Boersma, P. (2023). NCHS Data Brief, no 460: Diagnosed allergic conditions in adults: United States, 2021. National Center for Health Statistics. https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:122809
2. Zablotsky, B., Black, L.I., & Akinbami, L.J.(2023). NCHS Data Brief, no 459: Diagnosed allergic conditions in children aged 0-17 years: United States, 2021. National Center for Health Statistics. https://dx.doi.org/10.15620/cdc:123250
3. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology. (2022). Food Allergy. https://acaai.org/allergies/allergic-conditions/food/
4. Clark, S., Espinola, J., Rudders, S. A., Banerji, A., & Camargo, C. A. (2011). Frequency of US emergency department visits for food-related acute allergic reactions. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 127(3), 682–683. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2010.10.040
5. U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2023). Food Allergies.U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/food-allergies
Countdown to Food Allergy Awareness Month