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A Sample guideline for public schools serving fragile children with food allergies
Since the 1960s studies have shown that food allergies in children have grown from one in one-hundred to one in twenty children being diagnosed with some type of food allergy. While these studies give an insight into the severity of the issue they are unable to determine if it is an actual increase of food allergies in children or an increase due to the fact that individuals are now more aware of these food allergies which has led to more children being diagnosed. Each year thousands of parents/guardians entrust the public school system with the care of their fragile children expecting them to be taken care of just as any other student in attendance would be taken care of. The only way to ensure that these children are protected to the fullest extent is to design and implement guidelines and school policies on how to handle fragile children within the public school system. This paper is to present a strategy and a sample guideline for public schools serving fragile children with food allergies, it includes the following: (a) the most common types of allergens and their reaction types; (b) legal aspects involved; (c) an outline of the roles and responsibilities of all individuals involved; (d) medications and procedures; (e) a review of options for training and education, and; (f) sample checklists, letters and notices for school personnel and students. This paper is to provide a better understanding of the food allergies and how to approach them. To ensure the proper care of fragile children while in attendance of the public school system it is critical for the school, school staff, and parents to work together to see that the needs of the students with a life-threatening allergy is met. In order for ensure the safety of fragile children with food allergies it is recommended that: (1) School boards review and take into consideration the significance of the purposed sample guideline; (2) For others who would like to build on the sample guideline, one of the most important things will be to contact and work with other school boards and businesses to design their own guideline for handling fragile children within the school district, and; (3) Work internally with school district personnel to customize and personalize guidelines to meet the needs of the school district.
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