A study published in the Journal of Pediatrics finds that most of America’s schools are ill-prepared for dealing with childhood asthma and allergy attacks.
The study found that only one in four children with asthma and only one in two with food allergies have emergency health plans filed with their schools.
The consequences of this low planning, say researchers, could be deadly. They found that when students died from an allergy or asthma attack in school, school staff often had no plan for responding to the condition and emergency.
The study’s researchers are calling for governments, schools and parents to become more pro-active in children’s health.
Currently, estimates are that two children in every classroom in the U.S. have a food allergy (1 in 13) and that about 15 million Americans have a food allergy. Costs of food allergies are estimated by FARE to be about $25 billion per year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that childhood food allergies rose about fifty percent between 1997 and 2011.
This study of schools is significant as a person goes to the emergency room every three minutes (200,000 per year) for a food allergy reaction. About 300,000 children per year receive ambulatory care for food allergy-related emergencies.