Keeping students safe is always a top priority, and for students with severe allergies, that requires all of us to be educated, up-to-date and prepared. All school employees, including teachers and education support professionals (ESPs), need to know about allergic reactions, how to identify them, how to respond in an emergency, and how they can help prevent them in the first place. Because at any given time, any school employee may be the closest person to a student experiencing anaphylaxis and could be the one to save a life.
Approximately six million children in the U.S. have one or more food allergies.
Managing Severe Allergies: Strategies for Prevention
1. Educate yourself and build awareness of the seriousness of food allergies
- Download our free food allergy guide
- Watch our video on managing severe allergies
- Explore the additional links and resources provided at the bottom of this page
2. Maintain updated Emergency Care Plans
Every year, a student’s family should submit an Emergency Care Plan (ECP) in consultation with the student’s doctor. Allergies can change throughout a person’s lifetime, so it’s critical this record is updated regularly. Need help creating ECPs for your school? Download a food allergy and anaphylaxis template from Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
3. Consult your school’s Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan
Managing allergies is a team effort, and a plan reflects the roles everyone in a school can be vital in preventing allergic reactions. Food allergy management and prevention plans should be based on school district policy and implemented by a food allergy management team that represents various job categories including nurses, food service workers, bus drivers, educators and more.
Ask if your school has a Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan. If one doesn’t exist, ask to help craft one for your school. Need help drafting one? The Centers for Disease Control has a free resource to guide that can help you create a comprehensive Food Allergy Management Prevention Plan.