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CDC Sets Food Allergy Guidelines For Schools

Update Date: Nov 01, 2013 10:25 AM EDT

In order to protect children with food allergies, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently issued its first guidelines to schools.

The voluntary guidelines include taking steps to restrict shellfish, nuts or other foods that are allergic in nature. Emergency allergy medicine like Epipens should also be readily available in the school.

Presently 15 states and many other individual schools have already created their own policies to fight allergy. However the need is here for a more comprehensive and standardized way for schools to deal with issues, feels Dr. Wayne Giles, who oversaw development of the advice for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Food allergies are a matter of serious concern in U.S. According to a recent CDC survey, it is estimated that 5 per cent of the children are suffering from food allergy. This is an increment of 50 per cent from the late 1990s survey. The cause of rising food allergy is still not known among the experts.

Generally most of the food allergies are mild but severe cases may cause anaphylactic shock or even death from eating.

Foods that more commonly trigger the allergic reactions in the body are tree nuts, peanuts, milk and shellfish. However according to experts that must more than 150 foods that cause such reactions.

Here are few of the advice call from the CDC guidelines published online.

  • Identify children with food allergies.
  • Train teachers or others how to use medicines like epinephrine injectors, or have medical staff to do the job.
  • Plan parties or field trips free of foods that might cause a reaction; and designate someone to carry epinephrine.

“They are a big step toward giving parents. The confidence that their children will stay safe and healthy at school, ” said U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, a New York Democrat, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

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