Special Report: Allergies on the rise, and it's because of bad advice

If it seems like there are more allergies than ever before ... you're right.

Cases of environmental allergies are up as the incidence of food allergies has skyrocketed.

Now one in 20 children under the age of five has a food allergy.

Doctors say the rise of dangerous food allergies may be due in part to faulty recommendations from a national panel of doctors more than ten years ago.

12-year-old Dan Williams has lived with deadly food allergies since he was a baby.

Dan's Mother Pamela Wiewel said, "He had scrambled eggs as a soft baby food and he started swelling around his face and his tongue and by the time the daycare called me and I got there and saw him, he looked like he'd been run over by a truck."

Wiewel says she almost lost Dan that day to an egg allergy. Later she learned he was also deathly allergic to shellfish and garlic.

Dan is not alone. There's been nearly a 20 percent increase in children with food allergies in the last decade.

That increase got the attention of specialists across the country through the National Institute of Health. What they determined last December was the recommendations passed on through pediatricians to you over the past decade were wrong.

If you're a parent, you've probably been told before to avoid giving children possible allergenic food like peanuts, shellfish and cows milk before the age of one or two.

That was bad advice according to allergists like Dr. Gary Carpenter with Quincy Medical Group.

Dr. Carpenter said, "Evidence, meaning clinical trials, show that is completely wrong and the best way of preventing food allergies is to introduce allergenic food early ... particularly between 6 and nine months of life."

Essentially the approved recommendations from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases have reversed, meaning no food is off limits after six months of age.

Doctors say the same goes for breast milk, mothers should eat all normal foods to boost her child's immune response.

Does your child have food allergies? How do you cope? Start the conversation on our Facebook page here ... we'd love to hear your story!