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Food Allergy Basics

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Food Allergy Basics - Westfield High School – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Food Allergy Basics


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Food Allergy Basics
  • An informational presentation for educators and
    support staff

4
Food Allergies
  • Food allergies can be life-threatening
  • Its important to understand the precautions to
    take to keep students as safe as possible
  • The biggest risk to these students is accidental
    exposure
  • We need to work together as a team to minimize
    risks and provide a safe environment

5
Food Allergy Basics
  • The role of the immune system is to protect the
    body from germs and disease
  • A food allergy is an abnormal response by the
    immune system to a food protein
  • When the food is eaten, the immune system thinks
    the food is harmful and releases histamine and
    other chemicals to attack the enemy

6
Exposure
  • Exposure is anytime a student ingests (eats) or
    touches the allergen
  • In some cases airborne food protein can be enough
    to cause a reaction in nut allergies
  • Food prepared in containers or with utensils that
    have previously been used with nut products can
    cause a reaction

7
Food Allergy Basics
  • There is no cure for food allergy
  • Complete and strict avoidance is the only way to
    prevent a reaction
  • Eight foods cause 90 of the allergic reactions
    in the United States
  • Milk Peanuts
  • Eggs Tree Nuts
  • Wheat Fish
  • Soy Shellfish

8
Food Allergy Facts
  • 4 of US population or 12 million
  • Americans (1 in 25) have a food allergy
  • Children are the largest group affected
  • 4 to 6 of children have a food allergy
  • Growing ProblemPeanut allergy in children
    doubled in 5 yrs (1997-2002)

9
Symptoms Following Exposure to Allergen
  • Localized Reaction
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling of the tongue

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Anaphylaxis
  • A serious allergic reaction that is rapid in
    onset and may cause death
  • Causes of anaphylaxis include foods, insect
    sting, latex, and medications
  • Each year in the U.S. anaphylaxis to food causes
    over 30,000 emergency room visits150-200 deaths
  • Individuals with food allergy plus asthma areat
    greatest risk for a life-threatening reaction

12
Symptoms Following Exposure to Allergen
  • Generalized reaction
  • Vomiting
  • My mouth feels hot
  • Coughing, wheezing
  • Swelling of any part of the body
  • Tightening of the throat
  • Dizziness
  • Sense of doom
  • Loss of consciousness

13
Reaction to Exposure
  • Reactions can be unpredictable, so its
    important to always be prepared!
  • A child can have a very severe allergic
    reaction, even if previous reactions have been
    mild.

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Managing Food Allergies Day-to-Day
  • Keep the classroom as allergen-free as possible
    (remove allergens - or the child - immediately if
    allergen is present)
  • Nut Allergies
  • Cafeteria accommodations should be made
  • Establish a peanut-free table near a window or
    door
  • Do not allow children to use the table or chair
    at other lunch periods
  • Wash tables with separate cloth

16
Studies
  • Two studies have now shown that up to 25 of
    reactions to peanut allergy in the school setting
    are first time reactions
  • It is important that all schools have a plan for
    recognizing and treating these potentially life
    threatening allergic emergencies
  • School staff should all be aware of the symptoms
    of an allergic reaction!

17
Managing Food Allergies Day-to-Day
  • Totally avoid food allergens
  • Wise food choices through vigilant label
    reading, asking questions
  • Careful food preparation and cleanup
  • Be prepared in case of a reaction

18
Vigilant Label Reading
  • Read every label every time
  • Formulations can change without warning
  • Dont rely on safe lists
  • Allergens can be in non-food items
  • Soaps, shampoos, skin products, medications, pet
    foods

19
Careful Food Preparation
  • Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food
    preparation surfaces to avoid reactions from
    trace amounts of proteins left behind.
  • Liquid soap, bar soap, or commercial wipes for
    hands not antibacterial gel sanitizers
  • Dishwashing detergent and hot water for cooking
    utensils and cutting boards
  • Common household cleaners for counters,tables,
    and other surfaces

20
Be Prepared for an Allergic Reaction
  • Accidents are never planned
  • Keys to being prepared
  • Medications must be immediately available at all
    times
  • Knowing how to recognize symptoms
  • and administer medications quickly
  • A written Food Allergy Action Plan

21
Responding to a Reaction
  • Activate the Food Allergy Action Plan
    Immediately!
  • Recognize the symptoms
  • React quickly
  • Review what caused the reaction and how well the
    emergency plan worked

22
Successful Allergy Management
  • Understand how to determine where allergens are
    found
  • Keep the environment as safe for the student as
    possible
  • Know your student and those students you
    supervise
  • Be prepared to follow your students Emergency
    Care Plan
  • Plan field trips carefully

23
Managing Food Allergies in Schools
  • Affects about 2 million school-age children
  • Up to 25 of peanut/tree nut reactions in schools
    are first-time reactions
  • Most reactions in schools occur from food in the
    classroom used for projects or celebrations

24
Managing Food Allergies in Schools
  • Once a reaction begins, there is no way to know
    how severe it will become
  • Take all food allergy-induced allergic reactions
    seriously
  • Every school should have a plan for
  • managing food allergies

25
The Food Allergy Plan
  • The plan to manage a students food allergies
    should take into account
  • unique needs of the child
  • school environment (size, staff, etc.)
  • goal of equal participation in all school related
    activities

26
The Food Allergy Plan
  • Developing the plan is a team effort involving
  • school staff
  • childs family (parents/guardians)
  • childs physician
  • the child who has allergies, as age appropriate

27
Schools Responsibility
  • Create an environment where children,including
    those with food allergies, will be safe
  • Employ prevention and avoidance
  • Strategies
  • Address teasing
  • Be prepared to handle an allergic
  • reaction

28
Familys Responsibility
  • Provide written medical documentation
  • Work with the school to develop a plan
  • Provide properly labeled medications and replace
    after use or when expired
  • Keep emergency contact information up-to-date
  • Teach the child age-appropriate self-management
    skills

29
Stragies to Minimize Risk of Reaction
  • Clean hands before and after eating or handling
    food
  • Plan for safe parties/celebrations
  • Avoid using foods in classroom art/craft projects
    or as incentives
  • Prohibit food trading and sharing

30
Confidentiality
  • All students have the legal right to have their
    health information treated with confidentiality
  • All students deserve respect
  • Never refer to a student as the peanut kid or
    other nicknames
  • Handle things with quiet professionalism
  • Understand parental anxiety
  • Face your own anxiety and then
  • Relax and enjoy all of these students!

31
Peanut / Tree Nut Restricted Educational Zones
  • To help ensure the safety of students with
    life-threatening peanut and tree-nut allergies,
    WACS will have Peanut and Tree Nut Restricted
    Educational Areas in the 2008-2009 School Year.
    This policy is governed action of the Board of
    Education.

32
Peanut/Tree Nut Restricted Area
  • Designated Allergen Restricted Educational Area
  • Governed by Board of Education Policy

33
Questions?
  • Please contact one of the school nurses if you
    have concerns or questions about how to handle an
    allergic reaction
  • Please consult your building principal with
    education concerns

34
Resources
35
Sources
  • Information for this presentation was obtained
    from
  • The Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network
  • New York Statewide School Health Services Center
  • Thank you for your time and attention!
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