Today marks a milestone for the food allergy community. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” – the first comprehensive national guidelines for school food allergy management. Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) collaborated with the CDC along with other groups on the development of these guidelines.
The CDC guidelines seek to protect the physical and emotional health of students with food allergies by providing practical information and strategies for schools to use while reinforcing federal laws and regulations. These guidelines can help schools and early childhood programs improve existing practices and implement policies that may help reduce allergic reactions, improve response to life-threatening reactions and ensure current policies are in line with laws that protect children with serious health issues.
Here’s how you can help spread the word that the CDC guidelines are now available:
- Know the Facts: More than 15 percent of children with food allergies have had a reaction at school, and approximately 25 percent of epinephrine administrations in the school setting involved an individual whose allergy was previously undiagnosed.
- Contact Your District and School Leaders: Reach out to your school board, superintendent, principal, and/or school health office to let them know that the guidelines are available at www.foodallergy.org/CDC. If your school district already has school food allergy management guidelines in place, ask your school officials to consider the CDC guidelines the next time changes are proposed. We also have handouts for School Boards and School District Administrators available on our website.
- Tell Your Friends: Let other families know that they can help increase awareness of the new CDC guidelines by notifying their district or school leaders.
With your help, we can continue to advance the safety and inclusion of students with food allergies at school. We appreciate your support and your help in spreading the word about the CDC guidelines in your local community. For more information, visit www.foodallergy.org/CDC or http://www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/foodallergies/.