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Media Release July 26, 2018

Food Allergy Research & Education Makes Back to School Safety a Priority: Training Resources, Poster Drive Educate about Life-Threatening Food Allergies

FARE’s efforts focus on increasing safety to protect millions of students at risk for reactions

FARE’s efforts focus on increasing safety to protect millions of students at risk for reactions

McLEAN, Va. (July 26, 2018) – Estimates show about 25 percent of school nurses have had to administer the lifesaving medication epinephrine in their schools, illustrating the ongoing challenges schools face in tackling the food allergy epidemic. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), the nation’s leading advocacy group dedicated to food allergy, is encouraging people to participate in its Back to School Safely Poster Drive, learn more about food allergies and get educated about anaphylaxis.

One in 13 children in the U.S., or roughly two in every classroom, have at least one food allergy. Nearly 40 percent of them have experienced a serious allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis, which can be life-threatening.

This year, parents, school alumni, healthcare providers and other community members can share essential knowledge about food allergies, anaphylaxis and inclusion by donating $30 to FARE’s Back to School Safely Poster Drive, which sends a packet of posters, educational handouts and resources to the school of their choice. This Back to School Safely kit is customized for preschool, elementary or middle/high school. To donate a packet to a school, visit foodallergy.org/btsposterdrive.

“In recent weeks, we’ve seen the national conversation on food allergy evolve in a manner that has elevated awareness of this disease and just how serious food allergies are,” said Lisa Gable, CEO of FARE. “Each of us can do our part to keep children with food allergies safe from allergic reactions. FARE has a number of resources to strengthen food allergy readiness during Back-to-School season and beyond, including evidence-based training as well as educational posters and materials to increase understanding of the problem.”

As school districts across the country begin preparations to welcome back students for the new school year, parents managing food allergies are filling prescriptions for epinephrine auto-injectors and finalizing emergency care plans with their children’s allergists. More than 15 percent of school-aged children with food allergies have experienced a reaction in school, and it is strongly recommended that every child with a food allergy have a written Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan on file with their school.

Unfortunately, many schools do not have full-time nurses, making it even more critical that staff receive appropriate annual training on food allergies and anaphylaxis.

FARE’s training course, “Keeping Students Safe and Included,” released earlier this year, is accessible online for free and improves understanding of severity of food allergy in the school setting. Schools can opt to watch a narrated training video, or volunteers/school staff can deliver the presentation using slides, a presenter guide and presentation tips.

Additionally, FARE’s Back-to-School online headquarters at foodallergy.org/backtoschool offers additional free resources, webinars, helpful tips and other educational tools for a successful school year.

*National School Nurse Survey of Epinephrine in Schools, Pistiner, Michael et al. Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, Volume 139, Issue 2, AB222

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy as well as the largest private funder of food allergy research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.

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