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Food Allergy Resources

Is Your School Food Allergy Smart™?

June 2013

Food allergies are a growing health concern in schools across the country. The incidence of the peanut allergy — the deadliest of all the food allergies — fully tripled in the ten-year period from 1997-2008.

Today, more than 2 million school-aged children in this country suffer from food allergies. Medical experts agree that this number is increasing exponentially. These kids must watch every bite they eat or risk suffering a potentially life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis.

With more and more young children being diagnosed every day, schools must become proactive in creating a safer environment for kids with life-threatening food allergies. To help, we've developed easy-to-implement guidelines so that every school can become FoodAllergy Smart™.

Is your school FoodAllergy Smart™?

FoodAllergy Smart™ schools are better, safer places for students with food allergies because:

  1. FoodAllergy Smart™ schools have in place a written Food Allergy Policy. This document outlines in detail the responsibilities of parents and school staff members (principal, nurse, classroom teacher, specialty teacher, playground monitor, cafeteria manager, bus driver, after-school activities coordinator, etc.) in managing students’ life-threatening food allergies.

  2. FoodAllergy Smart™ schools train teachers and staff how to CARE for kids at risk of anaphylaxis. All teachers and staff who supervise kids at risk of anaphylaxis should receive training on:

    • Comprehending the basic medical facts about food allergies.
    • Avoiding the Allergen.
    • Recognizing a Reaction.
    • Enacting Emergency Action Plan!

  3. For more information, see safe@school partners’ handout Recommended School Training: How to CARE for Kids with Food Allergies.

  4. FoodAllergy Smart™ schools require that parents of food-allergic kids submit a Food Allergy Action Plan. This one-page document includes the foods a child is allergic to; the symptoms of an allergic reaction; the requisite treatment; emergency contact information; a picture of the child; and a doctor’s signature. (For a sample document, download The Food Allergy Research and Education's plan).

Author Maria Laura Acebal, J.D., is the Founder & Director of "safe@school partners", which merged with the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (now Food Allergy Research and Education.) Reprinted with permission.

Reviewed by KFA Medical Advisory Team June 2007. Updated May 2013.

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Page last updated 7/29/2012

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