Food Allergy Awareness

Kaitlyn Baumbach

By Kaitlyn Baumbach

May 14th through the 20th is Food Allergy Awareness week. Food allergies affect about 32 million Americans. This means that 1 in 13 children, or about 2 students per classroom have a food allergy. Each year in the United States, 200,000 people require emergency medical care for allergic reactions to food. 9 foods account for 90% of all allergic reactions: Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Eggs, Soy, Dairy, Wheat, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame. The reaction caused by food allergens is called anaphylaxis and is life-threatening.

There are a few things that you can do in order to help keep your classmates with food allergies safe. Remembering to wash your hands after you eat is a great way to stop the spread of food allergens to commonly touched surfaces. Hand sanitizer alone will not remove allergens from your hands, so it is important to wash with soap and water. You can also wipe down the surface where you ate. Doing this helps to make common surfaces, such as desks, safer for people with food allergies. Lastly, try to be mindful of food allergies, especially when you are sharing snacks with your class or selling treats for a fundraiser. 

Food allergies impact many schools and communities around the world. Being mindful of food allergies and taking them seriously can help to make everyday life a little easier and less stressful for those living with them.