Food Allergy Protocol
Although the number of children with food allergies in any one school may seem small, allergic reactions can be life-threatening and have far-reaching effects on children and their families, as well as on the schools.
A food Allergy is an adverse immune response to certain foods. Current research shows the number of students with food allergies is growing, approximately 1 out of 25 children are affected by food allergies, 20% of students with food allergies will have a reaction at school and 25% of students who have a life threatening reaction at school have no previous known food allergy.
Food allergies are not typically airborne, but some rare patients have had reactions to foods they can ingest but not inhale; likewise patients that have an allergy to ingested food may not have a reaction to inhaled particles of the same allergen. The best way to deter the transfer of allergens is hand washing before and after eating.
Eight food products cause about 90% of food allergy reactions:
- Milk (mostly in children)
- Tree nuts, like walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, brazil nuts, and pecans.
- Wheat and other grains with gluten, including barley, rye, and oats.
- Fish (mostly in adults)
- Shellfish (mostly in adults)
- Parents will inform the nurse of the diagnosis and assist in the plan of care while at school, on field trips and during extracurricular activities
- The Nurse will inform school individuals under FERPA the rules of a student’s diagnosis and treatment plan
- Parents are encouraged to send in healthy snacks such as fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and whole grain crackers which have a low risk of containing nuts-for more information check the monthly list on the Snack Safely website
- Students will wash their hands before and after eating snacks and meals
- Teachers will observe for nuts in the classroom during snack time and if nuts are brought in the snack will be returned to the student’s backpack and replacement will be organized
- Cafeteria tables will be washed after each lunch period
- A table/tables in each cafeteria will be designated as a nut free areas
- Any issues will be brought to the attention of the school nurse and administration
- Outside clubs and organizations will adhere to this protocol (Booster Club, after school care programs, sports banquets, etc.)