The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that food allergy affects 4-6% of all children in the United States. Allergic reactions from food are particularly dangerous for young children because they can unexpectedly have their first reaction at school or away from home.
In October the CDC released guidelines for schools and early care programs about how to manage food allergies. These recommendations encourage schools to work with parents and to develop management plans to protect children from common food allergens, such as nuts, eggs, and shellfish. While this means that food may no longer be a common reward or prize incentive, schools and early care programs may be safer for millions of children.
A few of these recommendations include:
- Training staff members about how to use epinephrine-filled injecting devices if students have severe allergic reactions.
- Avoiding food allergens during classroom parties and in vending machines.
- Ensuring children who have their own injecting devices can access them quickly.
You can read the complete CDC guidelines here.