Childhood food allergies cost $24.8 billion nationwide annually, or about $4,200 for every child, according to a report on the website of JAMA Pediatrics. Direct medical expenses for such allergies, including hospitalizations and visits to the doctor or emergency department, total $4.3 billion every year, and families spend $1.7 billion a year for special diets and allergen-free food products, researchers said.

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