Food Allergy Management and Education
Food allergy is a growing safety and public health concern. Food allergies have increased 50% in children age 0 to 17 years from 1997 through 2011. Food allergy is a true immune response in which the body identifies certain foods as harmful. There is no cure for food allergies. Strict avoidance is needed to prevent a reaction.
Schools are faced with particular challenges due to the increasing number of students with one or more food allergies. Studies have shown that currently, food allergies affects 1 in every 13 children under the age of 18 in the U.S.
FAME is designed to:
- Provide schools with the components of a comprehensive school-based food allergy program to promote best practices
- Offer resources and materials to schools and families across the country on creating a safe, nurturing educational environment for children with food allergies
- Increase awareness that children with asthma and food allergies have an increased risk of anaphylaxis which is a rapid, severe allergic reaction. It can cause difficulty breathing, swelling, dizziness, and even death.
Tips for Managing Food Allergies:
- Take child to see the doctor or allergist at least once per year (two times per year if child has asthma).
- Get and fill a prescription for epinephrine. Always have two (a second reaction can occur within minutes and/or several hours after the first) epinephrine auto-injector at home, school and everywhere you go.
- Get Food Allergy Action and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan. This plan tells everyone what to do in case your child has an allergic reaction.
- Know and avoid the food(s) that cause an allergic reaction.
- Learn the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction.
- Learn how to read food labels. There are 8 foods that cause 90% of food allergy reactions: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish.
- Teach children age-appropriate self-management skills.
To learn more about FAME or managing food allergies, please contact us at 314.286.0947 or email FAME@bjc.org.
St. Louis Children's Hospital developed a National FAME Manual and Tool-Kit to assist schools and parents with the prevention of life-threatening food allergy reactions.
It is recommended that certain forms be completed for students with food allergies and given to the school nurse/or designee such as: Student Health History, Food Allergy Action Plan, and/or Medication Authorization. These forms can be found in the FAME role-specific sections including the school nurse section, administrators/teachers section, parent section as well as other sections.
It is also recommended that materials from the National FAME Manual and Tool-Kit be utilized as resources for parents/guardians, students and for professional development; to create instructional staff trainings as well as develop policies and procedures for the school setting.
If you cannot download the FAME Manual and Tool-Kit, please visit our help page.
FAME is offered free of charge and covered by generous donations to the St. Louis Children's Hospital Foundation.