The Prevalence of Peanut Allergy
Dr. Young stresses that schools should approach this problem on a case-by-case basis. Every school should identify students with food allergies and have a written action plan in place for each child, signed by his or her doctor. If an allergic student has been prescribed an EpiPen®, he or she must have one easily accessible at the school, in case of a reaction. Depending on the age of the student, strategies to avoid peanut exposure may include the following:
- No peanut products in the classroom (not even for science and art projects)
- Peanut-free zones in the cafeteria
- No food sharing
- Hand washing before and after eating
Further guidelines for schools can be found on the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (www.foodallergy.org).