Food allergies: How parents should face this beginning of the course
Food safety in schools is highly controlled, to the peace of mind of parents and teachers. But it is essential to take the necessary measures at the beginning of the course.
The frequency of food allergies has doubled in the last 10 years.
Is food intolerance the same as an allergy? Is it better not to eat gluten?
“As per the most recent epidemiological review done in Spain, 20% of the kids who went to allergology meetings were analyzed”, says Dr. Mª Isabel Alvarado Izquierdo, an allergist at the Cáceres University Hospital Complex and a member of the Allergy Committee. Children of the Spanish Society of Allergology and Clinical Immunology.
What foods are we talking about?
Unfortunately, out of many.
Those that usually cause more food allergies in children under 4 years of age are:
- The milk
- The eggs
- The fishes.
In the case of older people, the ones that cause the most allergy problems are :
- Fruits, like peach
- Nuts , especially walnuts or hazelnuts.
And the problem is further complicated when the child is allergic to several foods. A much more frequent reality than we think, because more than 30% of minors are allergic to more than one food.
With this scenario, in many houses the start of school for the little ones becomes a cause for concern.
Especially for those who enter the school for the first time and who, in addition, are going to use the dining room service.
Fortunately, food safety in schools is highly controlled to the peace of mind not only of parents, but also of teachers.
Even so, according to data from the Spanish Society of Clinical Immunology, Allergology and Pediatric Asthma (SEICAP), around 20% of food allergy reactions occur in schools.
Tips for children with food allergies
For all these data, from this scientific society they remember some basic questions to start the new school stage with peace of mind.
- Inform the school about the child’s allergies . These days the educational centers are very receptive preparing the new course, so it may still be a good time to approach the center and inform about the child’s allergies.
- If this is not possible, it must be done on the first day of class, and if it can be done through a meeting with the teacher, the better.
- In the center they must know “what type of allergy the child suffers from, what medication they need and how to administer it, as well as what safety advice should be followed.”
- In addition to the tutor, it is necessary to give this information to anyone who is going to interact with the minor (other teachers, monitors, etc.).
- Deliver the medical report : if you do not have it or there has been some variation in the pathology, you can ask the allergist pediatrician.
- Rescue medication always : if the autoinjector is necessary, it must be provided to the teacher at the beginning of the course.
In addition, you always have to be aware that it is properly stored and it is essential to change it when it expires.
Make sure that someone in the school knows how to administer rescue medication in the event of a crisis. And, unfortunately, not all centers have a nurse.
- Comply with the prescribed treatment : starting school should not prevent the child from continuing with the treatment prescribed by the allergist.
- Teach the child to manage his illness : the sooner the child knows what illness he has, what foods he cannot eat and what he has to do if he has a crisis, the better. Is essential.
- Facilitate the identification of the student : “the school must inform families about what measures they must carry out to identify the child with allergies, and that identification must be recognizable by all school personnel”, they explain from SEICAP.
On the other hand, children must mark the containers in which they carry the snacks, or the glasses, or the bottles.
- Have all the information about the canteen service : “it is essential that families have complete information about which company caters the school canteen, what measures are followed to avoid allergens and what ingredients are usually used” underline the experts.