Food Allergy 101
If your child has a food allergy that may be lifethreatening, you need to contact the school nurse to help build a safety plan that will be implemented at school. Special assessment forms and health care provider forms are provided here: Health Services Enrollment Forms
Food Allergy 101
Food allergy is a serious and potentially life-threatening medical condition affecting 32 million Americans. One in every 13 children has a food allergy—that’s about 2 in every U.S. classroom. And every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency room.
The job of the body’s immune system is to identify and destroy germs (such as bacteria or viruses) that make you sick. A food allergy happens when your immune system overreacts to a harmless food protein—an allergen.
In the U.S., the eight most common food allergens are milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
Family history appears to play a role in whether someone develops a food allergy. If you have other kinds of allergic reactions, like eczema or hay fever, you have a greater risk of food allergy. This is also true of asthma.
Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances, and food allergy symptoms overlap with symptoms of other medical conditions. It is therefore important to have your food allergy confirmed by an appropriate evaluation with an allergist.
Food allergy reactions can vary unpredictably from mild to severe. Mild food allergy reactions may involve only a few hives or minor abdominal pain, though some food allergy reactions progress to severe anaphylaxis with low blood pressure and loss of consciousness.
Currently, there is no cure for food allergies.
Recognizing Food Allergies
Anaphylaxis (pronounced an-uh-fil-LAX-is) is a severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms can affect several areas of the body, including breathing and blood circulation.
Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis, although several other allergens—such as insect stings, medications or latex—can be potential triggers. Rarely, anaphylaxis is caused by exercise. Another uncommon form can occur when a person exercises soon after eating a problem food.
Take FARE's free course, Save a Life: Recognizing and Responding to Anaphylaxis, to learn more about anaphylaxis, its causes and the proper emergency response by completing the following form. FARE FREE COURSE
(Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) 2020)