Schools to learn to cope with food allergies

The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) has launched a Food Allergies campaign to raise awareness of the threat posed by anaphylaxis in children.

Schools to learn to cope with food allergies

The campaign should be rolled out in schools as doctors warn minimum safety standards are required to ensure they are equipped to deal with childhood intolerance’s.  According to the Independent, the most common allergies in children are eggs, cow’s milk and nuts. In the UK, anaphylaxis causes about 20 deaths a year in adults and children from heart attacks or suffocation due to swelling of the mouth or throat and hospital admissions increased from about 300 in 1990 to more than 3,500 in 2009.

Focus on younger children

The EAACI will publish ‘International Minimum Standards for the Child at School’ so that the same procedures are laid down everywhere and teachers who switch schools do not become confused. The focus will be on primary schools – by secondary level affected children have learnt how to recognise symptoms of an attack and carry their own medicines.

No ‘standardised’ way

There is currently no ‘across the board’ method of dealing with allergies in schools.  Lindsey McManus, deputy chief executive of Allergy UK, said:

“The present arrangement is that schools in the UK work out a protocol with parents of individual children with allergies so teachers know who they are … the problem is different schools have different protocols and different ways of going about things. Some may have a list of children with their photos in the staff room. There is no standardised way of educating staff.”

Source:  The Independent, Safety alert over response to children’s food allergies, 13th August 2012

Photography: jorge-11 @ Flickr

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