Food allergy is estimated to affect roughly 1 in 25 school-aged children and is a common trigger of anaphylaxis, a severe, potentially fatal, systemic allergic reaction.
Studies of children with food allergy indicate that 16 percent to 18 percent have had a reaction in school. In a new clinical report, "Management of Food Allergy in the School Setting" in the December 2010 issue of Pediatrics (published online Nov. 29), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) gives guidance on managing food allergies at school and on the prevention and treatment of food-induced anaphylaxis.
The report includes guidance for pediatricians on diagnosing and documenting a potentially life-threatening food allergy; prescribing self-injectable epinephrine; helping the child learn how to store and use the medication in a responsible manner; and working with families, schools, and students in developing written plans to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis and to implement emergency treatment in the event of a reaction.
Healthy Children Radio: Food Allergies at School (Audio)
Pediatrician Jennifer Kim, MD, FAAP, joins the Healthy Children show on Radio MD to talk about what information parents should share, what questions to ask, and how to prepare children with allergies to attend school.