Doctors warn that minimum safety standards should be instituted in Britain’s schools, in recognition of the rising rates of food allergies among children.
It is estimated that about 50,000 people living in England will suffer a life-threatening allergic reaction in their lifetime. About a third of those people experience their first reaction while at school, but teachers and other school personnel are often unprepared to handle the crisis.
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (EAACI) recently launched a Food Allergies campaign with the aim of raising awareness of the threat of allergic reactions, and to better prepare schools to deal with these life threatening emergencies.
School Standards Being Developed
The EAACI also plans to publish International Minimum Standards for the Child at School, which lays out procedures to be followed at every school. By standardizing the policy, the EAACI hopes to make things easier for teachers and students who switch schools. Lindsey McManus, deputy chief executive of Allergy UK, commented “The present arrangement is that schools in the UK work out a protocol with parents of individual children with allergies so teachers know who they are… the problem is different schools have different protocols and different ways of going about things…There is no standardised way of educating staff.”