Food Allergies are a significant health concern for many students at Saint Thomas Academy.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the CDC website:
- Food allergies affect an estimated 4%-6% of children in the United States
- Of those students identified with food allergies, about 20% or 1 in 5 will have a reaction while at school
- 25% of severe food allergy reactions at school happen to students with no previous known food allergy.
- Eight foods or food groups account for 90% of serious allergic reactions in the United States: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, wheat, soy, peanuts, and tree nuts. (Sesame is also a common food allergen according to the Food Allergy Research & Education website: http://www.foodallergy.org/allergens)
Symptoms of a food allergy can involve a number of different body systems. Mild symptoms may involve an itchy, runny nose, itchy mouth, a few hives on the skin or mild nausea or stomach discomfort. More severe symptoms may involve shortness of breath, wheezing, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, widespread hives, vomiting or diarrhea, a weak pulse, dizziness or a feeling of anxiety or confusion. If symptoms involve more than one body system, this is considered potentially life threatening and epinephrine should be given by injection and 911 called. The symptoms and severity of allergic reactions to food can be different between individuals, and can also be different for one person over time. The risk for a severe reaction (anaphylaxis) is increased if a person has both asthma and food allergies.
Is your Son's Emergency Care Plan on File at STA?
It is VERY important that students that have identified food allergies have Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plans with Epinephrine available at school. We do NOT have stock epinephrine available at school, so parents/guardians must provide a medical order (updated Anaphylaxis Action Plans from FARE) and unexpired epinephrine for their child’s use if needed.
This fall, STA administration, teachers at each of the grade levels and the Taher staff received instruction on identifying signs/symptoms of anaphylaxis reaction and on how to use an EpiPen. Copies of the students’ Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plans and prescribed medications are sent along with the teacher in a back pack with other medical supplies on Middle School Field trips.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/food-allergies
The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (ACAAI): http://acaai.org/allergies/types/food-allergy