Parents and Allergies

This past weekend I decided to go home for parents’ weekend. When I got in the car I asked my mom what was new. Amongst other things, she told me that just this past week, after serving my little sister pasta in a marinara sauce she had broken out in hives. Because of this one time incident, my mom decided that our entire family was allergic to marinara sauce and no one else could have it anymore. Obviously I told her that this was irrational and that she must take into consideration other variables, such as the spices in the marinara. To briefly sum up this story, my mom now believes that the entire family is allergic to marinara sauce and wants us all to avoid it (which I can tell you right now is not going to happen, I love spaghetti). With this being said, this story brings to the light the fact that according to a new study, a majority of parents believe that when their child is allergic to something, they too are affected with that allergy. Is this logical reasoning or are parents coming to crass, irrational conclusions?



A recent study conducted by Dr. Rachel Robinson reveals that when parents state that they too have the same allergies as their children, they are incorrect. Robinson received 2,500 parents whose children have food allergies. Prior to the study, the parents were asked they had a food allergy and 14 percent of them said they did. After the study was complete, it was revealed that 28 percent of the parents actually had a food allergy.

This study did provide reliable results, but I think it could have been done better in order to produce even better results. In my opinion, I think that an even better study that could be done would be an observational study with a larger group of parents with different financial backgrounds. Financial backgrounds could potentially impact the results of this study as while one family can afford to cut out a specific type of food from their diet, another family may not be financially capable of doing this. Therefore, a study conducted from a more diverse and larger group could produce results that would be more reliable and applicable to a greater audience.

To conclude, Dr. Robinson’s findings are seemingly logical. I do not think that a second experiment is necessary, but rather another study could further affirm Dr. Robinson’s study. It is logical to think that parent and child will share the same allergies given that there is a 50 percent chance of the child inheriting the same allergies as one parent. With this being said, this is not always the case. All in all, it is probably best that if a child has an allergy the family stay away from that particular thing.

3 thoughts on “Parents and Allergies

  1. sjb6039

    Throughout my entire life I have always heard people referring to what they can and cannot have because they are allergic. I do not have any allergies, however my mom does. Your post got me thinking about not only food allergies but all allergies in general. My mom is allergic to codeine medicine and cannot ever take it. Recently i underwent ACL reconstruction surgery, and my mom was afraid of them giving me codeine medicine as well because she thought I would have the same allergy as her. Long story short, I took codeine medicine and was fine, which shows that I did not inherit my mom allergy.

  2. Sarah Elizabeth Read

    It’s so interesting that you chose to write about allergies! Almost every member of my family has seasonal allergies of some sort, but no food allergies. Sophomore year, however, I developed some sort of allergy to certain fruits. Some of these include apples, peaches, plums, and cherries. I never had problems with any these fruits before sophomore year, but since then I have wondered what it is that causes allergies to develop later in life. I know that allergies are much more prone to develop during infancy, but it never occurred to me that allergies could develop so randomly later in life. I did some more research and attached an article that talks more about food allergies and their development in both children and adults:

  3. Alexis Herrington

    I am not saying this is what you mom has at all, but this post made me think of the disease found in some parents called Munchausen Syndrome. This is a mental disorder and form of child abuse, where someone lies about them or their child having a severe illness to purposely obtain attention or treatment.
    I found two very interesting studies examining this syndrome. Check out the studies and their conclusions here: and here:
    It is important to that we listen to and trust our parents, but sometimes some things can be so illogical and fabricated that it can actually, if serious, do horrible damage to the children involved.

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