New CDC Guidelines on Managing Food Allergies
Figuring out how to handle food allergic children in the classroom can be tricky. Though the top 8 allergens (soy, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish and shellfish) account for most allergies, there are certainly plenty of other foods that cause allergic reactions as well. Add in differences based on age and understanding of self-care, and, well, it’s tough to come up with a plan that keeps the food allergic children safe and provides a standard schools can follow. The CDC has just weighed in, though, with their helpful Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies. The document states their main goals are:
1. Ensure the daily management of food allergies in individual children.
2. Prepare for food allergy emergencies.
3. Provide professional development on food allergies for staff members.
4. Educate children and family members about food allergies.
5. Create and maintain a healthy and safe educational environment.
There’s a lot of good stuff there for parents and educators here and it’s worth a read for anyone who cares for a food allergic child. I know when we first started dealing with food allergies we could have used this advice!