Food-allergic reactions in schools and preschools

A. Nowak-Wegrzyn, M. K. Conover-Walker, Robert A Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Food allergies may affect up to 6% of school-aged children. Objectives: To conduct a telephone survey to characterize food-allergic reactions in children (defined as those aged 3-19 years in this study) with known food allergies in schools and preschools and to determine mechanisms that are in place to prevent and treat those reactions. Design: The parents of food-allergic children were contacted by telephone and asked about their child's history of food-allergic reactions in school. The schools the children attended were contacted, and the person responsible for the treatment of allergic reactions completed a telephone survey. Results: Of 132 children in the study, 58% reported food-allergic reactions in the past 2 years. Eighteen percent experienced i or more reactions in school. The offending food was identified in 34 of 41 reactions, milk being the causative food in 11 (32%); peanut in 10 (29%); egg in 6 (18%); tree nuts in 2 (6%); and soy, wheat, celery, mango, or garlic in 1 (3%) each. In 24 reactions (59%), symptoms were limited to the skin; wheezing occurred in 13 (32%), vomiting and/or diarrhea in 4 (10%), and hypotension in 1 (2%). Also, 15 (36%) of the 41 reactions involved 2 or more organ systems, and 6 (15%) were treated with epinephrine, Fourteen percent of the children did not have a physician's orders for treatment, and 16% did not have any medications available. Of the 80 participating schools, 31 (39%) reported at least 1 food-allergic reaction within the past 2 years and 54 (67%) made at least I accommodation for children with a food allergy, such as peanut-free tables, a peanut ban from the classroom, or alternative meals. Conclusions: It is common for food-allergic children to experience allergic reactions in schools and preschools, with 18% of children having had at least 1 school reaction within the past 2 years. Thirty-six percent of the reactions involved 2 or more organ systems, and 32% involved wheezing. Every effort should be made to prevent, recognize, and appropriately treat food-allergic reactions in schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)790-795
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine
Volume155
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Hypersensitivity
Food
Food Hypersensitivity
Telephone
Respiratory Sounds
Apium graveolens
Mangifera
Garlic
Nuts
Hypotension
Epinephrine
Triticum
Vomiting
Ovum
Meals
Diarrhea
Milk
Parents
Physicians
Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Cite this

Food-allergic reactions in schools and preschools. / Nowak-Wegrzyn, A.; Conover-Walker, M. K.; Wood, Robert A.

In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Vol. 155, No. 7, 2001, p. 790-795.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Nowak-Wegrzyn, A, Conover-Walker, MK & Wood, RA 2001, 'Food-allergic reactions in schools and preschools', Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 155, no. 7, pp. 790-795.
Nowak-Wegrzyn, A. ; Conover-Walker, M. K. ; Wood, Robert A. / Food-allergic reactions in schools and preschools. In: Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2001 ; Vol. 155, No. 7. pp. 790-795.
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