According to a report in the December issue of Pediatrics new guidelines have been recommended for doctors treating school-aged children for food allergies. Approximately one in 25 school-aged children have food allergies. As someone who has had food allergies since childhood I am glad that this is being addressed. School can be a dangerous place for children with allergies. Many adults just do not take allergies seriously.
- Advice for pediatricians on diagnosing and documenting any potential life-threatening food allergies, including identifying any food that might truly be life-threatening.
- Developing and writing down age-appropriate management and emergency response plans and including children, parents, and school officials in the planning process.
- Determining whether a health care professional, such as a nurse, is available to help the child in the event of a reaction at school.
- Prescribing self-injectable epinephrine and, if schools permit and if age-appropriate, allowing children to carry their own epinephrine in the event of an emergency, such as outside of the school cafeteria, because delays in treatments have been linked to fatalities.
- Teaching children and their families how to use and store medication properly.
- Informing children, families, and schools how to identify signs of anaphylaxis and how to best respond to expedite treatment.
- Understanding the school’s anaphylaxis response protocols. The report notes that 25% of anaphylaxis cases that occur in schools are among children without a previous diagnosis of food allergy.
Read the article on WebbMD.