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Allergen Awareness/Avoidance

 

The question of banning anything in schools is controversial. We live in a world that is contaminated with potential allergens. Anaphylactic children must learn to avoid specific triggers. While the key responsibility lies with the anaphylactic individual and his family, in the case of a young anaphylactic child, the school community must also be aware.

In schools, there are serious allergic reactions to peanut and nuts. There are allergies to other foods and insect/wasp stings as well.

In the classrooms of anaphylactic children, care is taken to avoid allergens. Parents should consult with the teacher before supplying food or craft materials to these classrooms. In short, the risk of accidental exposure to a food allergen has been significantly diminished although it can never be completely removed. 

Given that anaphylaxis can be triggered by minute amounts of allergen, food anaphylactic children must be encouraged to follow certain guidelines: 

  • Students with food allergies should only consume food brought from home, both for lunch and snacks 
  • Eat only food, which they have brought from home unless it is packaged, clearly labeled and approved by their 
  • parents 
  • Students with food allergies should bring their own lunches and snacks for field trips as well 
  • Wash hands before eating 
  • Do not share food, utensils or containers 
  • Place food on a napkin or wax paper rather than in direct contact with a desk or table

Stress “NO SHARING OF FOOD” frequently with students. Students should be mindful about wasting food and encouraging them to remember there are children in their own neighborhoods, around our country and the world who do not have enough to eat.

Please note, while the risk of accidental exposure to a food allergen can be significantly diminished it can never be completely removed.