Food allergy is a growing public health concern. As many as 15 million people have food allergies and nearly 6 million of children have food allergies, with children affected the most. The prevalence of food allergies and associated anaphylaxis appears to be on the rise with peanut allergy among children appears to have tripled between 1997 and 2008. Eight foods account for 90% of all food-allergic reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (e.g., walnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, pecans), wheat, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Although childhood allergies to milk, egg, wheat and soy generally resolve in childhood, they appear to be resolving more slowly than in previous decades, with many children still allergic beyond age 5 years. Allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, fish, or shellfish are generally lifelong allergies.
California Education code 49414 authorizes school districts to provide epinephrine auto-injectors to trained personnel to use to provide emergency medical aid to persons suffering from an anaphylactic reaction. As of January 2015, SB 1266 now requires schools to provide emergency epinephrine for individuals who may be experiencing anaphylaxis
Anaphylaxis is a rapid, severe allergic response triggered by insect stings, foods, medications, latex materials, exercise, or in rare cases unknown causes. This is a life-threatening allergic condition, requiring immediate treatment. Administering epinephrine to students during a medical emergency may help to insure the student's health and safety at school. Therefore, The Lewis Center for Educational Research has adopted a policy for giving life-saving epinephrine to students in need of such treatment.
This policy states that a credentialed, licensed school nurse or trained, unlicensed school staff, under the direct or indirect supervision of the credentialed school nurse, may administer epinephrine in the form of an EPiPen during a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. The EpiPen rapidly delivers a pre-measured sterile, single dose of epinephrine by direct injection through the skin. After administration, 911 will called. If parents/guardians do not wish their child to receive this treatment in the case of a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction, they must so indicate in writing within two weeks of the beginning of school or initial enrollment if new to the school.
Some excellent websites that provide education and training as well as wonderful recipes and support are listed as follows: