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August 21, 2006

FAAN Back to School with Food Allergy Recommendations

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) Has an Important Warning for Parents of Children With Severe Allergies

NEW YORK, Aug. 15 PRNewswire - It is estimated that two million school-aged children have food allergies, and for the parents of these children, back-to-school planning is a particularly stressful time. Developing cafeteria emergency plans to protect against a possible fatal reaction is crucial, but there are classroom dangers as well.

According to Anne Munoz-Furlong, Founder and CEO of The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), the nation's leading nonprofit, patient advocacy organization providing education and awareness on food allergy and anaphylaxis, the majority of allergic reactions to foods occur from foods used during class projects or as incentives in the classroom. The top eight allergens are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy, and any school project that contains these foods increases a child's risk.

For example, peanut jars may be used to hold crayons; wheat can be found in papier mache; peanut can be found in play dough; tree nuts are often found in "fossil digs" during school field trips to museums; and egg is sometimes used to thicken tempera paint. Before sending a child with severe allergies back to school this year, parents should take the following precautions:

> Meet with school staff to go over all allergy needs, and tour the classroom.

> Go through art and science supply closets to check materials and labels.

> Tell teachers to call you when new materials come into the classroom.

> Suggest substituting food rewards, like candy, with stickers, or pencils.

For more information, please visit: http://www.foodallergy.org.

Posted by David at August 21, 2006 12:38 PM