Keeping Students Safe and Included – Food Allergy Research & Education Launches New Education Program for School Staff
New Resource Provides Essential School Food Allergy Management Information
McLEAN, Va. (Feb. 11, 2016) – Despite increased awareness about the severity of food allergy, serious allergic reactions continue to occur in schools nationwide. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) is addressing this challenge through the continued development and delivery of community education initiatives including its new “Food Allergies: Keeping Students Safe and Included” presentation, a new resource launched this week that provides clear, actionable information to schools to help them support students with food allergies. The program can be delivered by internal school staff or by a member of FARE’s Education Network, a collaborative of volunteer lay educators created to provide training to schools.
The presentation represents the latest in a series of evidenced-based, world-class education programs from FARE, the nation’s leading advocacy nonprofit dedicated to food allergy. “Food Allergies: Keeping Students Safe and Included,” the first in a new series of educational presentations, is designed to help school staff and administrators learn how to effectively work with students with food allergies and confidently respond to food allergy emergencies. Information provided in these materials aligns with the recommended plans, practices and procedures found in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs.
“FARE has long recognized the critical need for food allergy education in our schools,” said Scott Riccio, senior vice president of education and advocacy at FARE. “While awareness about the life-threatening nature of food allergies has improved over the years, it is clear that we are not where we need to be when it comes to food allergy knowledge and preparedness throughout our schools. The ‘Keeping Students Safe and Included’ materials and our passionate network of informed volunteers will help ensure that school staff – from teachers to bus drivers to administrators – are better equipped to care for students who rely on them to keep them safe.”
Previous studies have shown about 1 in 6 children with food allergies have experienced a reaction at school, and a survey of schools participating in EpiPen4Schools, a program offered by Mylan Specialty that provides free epinephrine auto-injectors to qualifying schools in the U.S., showed that anaphylactic reactions occurred in more than 1 in 10 schools in the 2013-14 academic year. FARE encourages parents, teachers, school nurses and administrators to take the lead in helping to educate their schools by presenting “Food Allergies: Keeping Students Safe and Included” at least annually to school staff.
Objectives of the presentation are:
- to improve understanding of food allergies and anaphylaxis,
- to identify laws that protect individuals with food allergies,
- to identify ways that school staff can create a safer and more inclusive school environment for students with food allergies and
- to learn how to plan for, recognize and respond to a food allergy reaction.
In addition to the PowerPoint presentation, other resources included in the materials include a companion guide and quiz. They may be downloaded and used by school nurses, teachers, parents and other health and safety advocates to educate schools about how to help students with food allergies stay safe, supported and included at school..
The FARE Education Network and training materials are made possible in part by an unrestricted sponsorship from Mylan Specialty L.P.
FARE is the world’s leading non-governmental organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research. Our mission is to improve the quality of life and the health of individuals with food allergies, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. FARE is transforming the future of food allergy through innovative initiatives that will lead to increased awareness, new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more about FARE, visit our Living Teal™ YouTube channel, or www.foodallergy.org.