Food Allergy Prevention at School
A food allergy diagnosis can be emotional for parents who fear their children will forever be in danger of an anaphylactic reaction and may never live a normal life. These fears are compounded when children go to school and are exposed to a variety of foods that could potentially spur an allergic reaction. Education and communication with school staff and other parents about food allergies are the best ways to ensure your child’s safety.
Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools
In consultation with the U.S. Department of Education and a number of other federal agencies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) developed the Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers in fulfillment of the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act to improve food safety in the United States.
The Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies provide practical information and planning steps for parents, district administrators, school administrators and staff, and ECE program administrators and staff to develop or strengthen plans for food allergy management and prevention. The Voluntary Guidelines include recommendations for each of the five priority areas that should be addressed in each school’s or ECE program’s Food Allergy Management Prevention Plan:
- Ensure the daily management of food allergies in individual children.
- Prepare for food allergy emergencies.
- Provide professional development on food allergies for staff members.
- Educate children and family members about food allergies.
- Create and maintain a healthy and safe educational environment.
The Food Allergy Management & Education (FAME) manual and tool-kit is designed to help school nurses, administrators, and staff work with parents and students to create a safer school environment and develop a comprehensive school-based food allergy program. Features a 504 Plan decision chart and a list of accommodations in classrooms, the cafeteria, and on school buses and field trips. Available as a free download at www.stlouischildrens.org/FAME.