While most schools and households have peanuts in their homes and schools. Most people do not know the severe risk that could harm someone else around you. A book written by Doctor Michael C. Young states that food allergies affect eight percent of children under three and six to eleven percent of school age children, and only fifty percent of children outgrow milk and egg allergies by the age of six, but only ten percent outgrow peanut allergy by the age of nine. The prevalence of peanut and tree nut allergies in children has doubled in the past five years.
Seventy-five percent of peanut-allergic reactions occur on the first know exposure. In the United States fatal food anaphylaxis occurs in one-hundred people each year often outside the home, in schools and restaurants. Given these shocking statistics, every school needs to be prepared to deal with the problem of food anaphylaxis, especially from peanut allergy. When a classmate, or friend as a peanut allergy it is not something you can just tell by looking at him or her. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Some people think well if they have a peanut allergy I should still be able to eat peanuts as long as they do not eat.
Well that is not true, peanut allergies can be very mild to very dangerous. For example someone may just be allergic by consuming peanuts, others may not be able to touch or consume, and the most extreme case is the smell of peanuts can cause an anaphylaxis reaction. An anaphylaxis reaction is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. It typically causes a number of symptoms including an itchy rash, throat swelling, and low blood pressure. So what should you do if someone you know has an anaphylaxis reaction? For a mild allergic reaction it is easier to treat just make sure the person gets treatment.
For a severe allergic reaction it is must different this is where students and faculty of the schools get confused. The first thing that a faculty member of a school district is always trained to is if it a life or death situation call 911 first. That is wrong when it comes to a student having an allergic reaction. The first thing you should do is inject them with epinephrine. Epinephrine is an injection to treat severe allergies and can stabilize the patient from dying. After the injection you follow the steps call 911, reinsure the student, and take the right step to prevent shock.
Most important know that epinephrine does not give complete protection it is still a life or death situation. Peanut allergy are something that schools should be aware of for many reasons. ABC News wrote on article on a girl named Ammaira Johnson, she was seven years old just a normal girl but with one problem she had a severe allergy to peanuts. Johnson went to school like a normal seven year old was outside for recess swinging with one of her friends when her friend gave her a peanut on the playground. After she was having problems breathing she notified the teachers that she was having an allergic reaction.
She was taken to the school nurse were they waited for emergency vehicles. When emergency vehicles got there she was already in cardiac arrest and died shortly after. Johnson death raised alarming question across the United States on how the schools and parents should handle severe allergies. Experts say Johnson could have been saved by an epinephrine pen, but the school had no such device. It is a sad day when a young girl dies, but you have to long at the positives to know more than eighty percent of schools have epinephrine stocked and ready for use. I have had a close experience to severe peanut allergies.
My youngest brother Bryce who is now fourteen. Has had many struggles in is life but lucky enough he is still here today but still fighting food allergies. Bryce was born a very sick baby and was hospitalized 3 months after being born. Doctors spend days and nights figuring out what was wrong with Bryce. During the three months Bryce almost died four times doctors performed CPR. Eventually the found out that Bryce was allergic to dairy, peanuts, soy, and wheat, and also had life threatening asthma. The doctor told use Bryce would not make it another three months.
After a lot of praying and crying Bryce pushed through and was let out of the hospital. Bryce grow up a sick baby and child until the age of ten he finally had out grown is soy and wheat allergy, but still had severe allergies to peanuts, and dairy. My mom almost lost my brother at the age of eleven when he was outside and inhaled the fume a peanuts and went an allergic reaction. I remember that night very clearly and will not go into detail, but I almost watched my brother die right in front of me. Once again god answered out prayers and Bryce made it through it thanks to the epinephrine injection that my mom had given him.
Bryce is now fourteen and only has a one percent chance to outgrow is food allergies. He is very aware of his surroundings and the teachers and other faculty work well with Bryce to make sure he can feel safe. Bryce’s friends are also very supportive and aware of Bryce. I asked Bryce last week a couple question. One was do you feel safe at school and is response was “ I feel safe at school but it the back of my mind I know that something bad could happen any day, but I know that I have good friends and teachers that will do the best to make sure I am safe.
The other question was what does the school do to make you feel safe and his response was that “The school cafeteria to not serve anything with peanuts in it as well as the teachers and students try to not eat peanuts during school hours. ” Bryce is a miracle and once to grow up to be a doctor and find a cure for food allergies and I believe that he can do it. Know what you know what food allergies is about and what the difference is between when schools are prepared and not. What can schools do different or improve on to make people like Bryce feel safe when going to school.
The biggest thing is having teacher and school who are educated enough to know how to prevent a reaction and what to do if one should occur. Also ready access to an epinephrine injector should be on hand. The kids themselves are also an important they should have to be able to manage their allergies but banding peanuts from schools is not a solution either. The reason that peanut allergies should not be banned from schools is because what about the kids with allergies to seafood, soy, and other food. All foods cannot be banned.