Dealing with food allergies when heading back to school

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Dealing with food allergies when heading back to school

It's an important message for parents whose children are living with food allergies. As your little ones get ready to head back to the classroom, have you communicated with the school about those allergies. In some severe cases, it could be a matter of life or death.

It's just a routine Wednesday here in the Infusion Center for young Donald. He's been battling food allergies most of his life.

"Put two in one arm, and for my allergy shots every week I get three of those they put one in one are arm and two in the other arm" Donald explained.
It all started when his parents noticed he developed a skin reaction early on. After bringing him to Texas Children's for testing, they got answers.

Donald's mother, Sherril Mackie told us "so we found out he was allergic to eggs. And he had a severe reaction to eggs."

One day after a classroom experiment, they discovered just how severe Donald's allergy was.

"They did green eggs and ham in the classroom. We didn't know it was just the intake of egg, it was also the aroma" Mackie said.

Dr. Sara Anvari specializes in pediatric allergies and Immunology. She said "they may have sensitivity where it may elicit a reaction just from an airborne version to that food."

Dr. Anvari says it's important that parents communicate with the school to make sure they have their child's up-to-date medical records.

"The parents should provide the school with a food allergy action plan which lists the patient's name as well as the foods they're allergic to" Dr. Anvari said.

Added to his allergy list was shellfish, discovered one evening after having dinner at a restaurant a few years back. So as Donald prepares to go into 7th grade this year, his parents have provided the school with that action plan.

"It tells you what happens if he has a reaction. What you do and the steps you take" Mackie explained.
For any student, depending on the severity of the allergy, that action plan could be lifesaving.

"And know what to look out for and also how to avoid the certain allergens they may actually be having or may be exposed to so that we can prevent these accidental exposures" Dr. Anvari said.
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