Food allergies are a major problem in this country. They claim over 200 lives and cause over 30,000 emergency room visits each year, nationwide. Students with food allergies are a growing health concern in schools across the country. The incidence of peanut allergy – the deadliest of all the food allergies – fully doubled in children over the five-year period from 1997-2002. A 1992 New England Journal of Medicine article reported on six young patients who died as a result of an anaphylactic reaction. Of these six, four experienced the fatal allergic reaction in school.
According to the National Association of School Nurses (NASN)
- Education and planning are key to establishing and maintaining a safe school environment for all students.
- Those responsible for the care and well being of children must be aware of the potential dangers of allergies.
- Prevention of allergy symptoms involves coordination and cooperation within the entire school team.
We have met with a few of the families of these students to find out what to do to keep them safe while they are at school, and have learned that children with food allergies must be extremely vigilant when it comes to:
- snacks in the classroom
- birthday/holiday parties at school
- art projects at school that involve food products
- cleanliness in the classroom as it relates to table tops and desk tops
Health and safety have always been top priorities for Sts. Simon & Jude School, so we are taking this concern very seriously. Due to the increasing number of students on our campus who are highly sensitive to peanuts, tree nuts, peanut butter or foods made with nuts, we respectfully request that you do not send lunch items, snacks or treats to school that contain any peanuts or nut products. (Please check the ingredients list on all food labels to be sure!) Since the nature of this allergy is life threatening, airborne and transmitted by contact as well as ingestion, we urge your full cooperation regarding this matter. We know that this may be inconvenient, especially if you have children who love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but we trust that you understand how important this is.