Are Students Prepared for Food Allergies?

Increasing number of students are not prepared for food allergies. Most students do not avoid the foods that cause allergies. Eggs, milk, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soy are common foods that cause allergies. Allergic reaction can lead to anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction), which can be fatal.

An allergist can determine food allergy through various tests. Common tests include elimination of the foods that cause allergies, scratch skin test, blood tests such as RAST and ELISA and double blindfold challenge.

Steps to Manage Food Allergies:

Students with food allergies can take the following steps to manage food allergies:

  • Avoid:

    Avoid foods that cause allergic reaction. Read the labels while shopping for groceries. Inquiring about the ingredients present in the food while eating out at restaurants is also important

  • Prepare:

    Prepare yourself in case of an accidental allergic reaction. Students can carry a self-injectable epinephrine, which obtained by doctor’s prescription. Students should be prepared for self-administration if an allergic reaction occurs

  • Communicate:

    Students with food allergies should inform their school staff, friends about their medical condition. Students should also teach their friends, roommates how to administer epinephrine if a reaction occurs

It is very important for students to carry the emergency medication always. Schools may have staff to recognize and treat an allergic reaction. However, students need to be prepared if the staff are not present.

Students should keep their friends, school staff around them aware of their allergic condition. Students should not take any risk regarding their health and should take necessary steps to avoid allergic reaction.

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