Departmental Bulletin Paper 〈Originals〉Strategies for preventing and managing allergic reactions to food in Japanese educational facilities such as kindergartens and schools

Takemura, Yutaka  ,  Inoue, Norihiro  ,  Yamasaki, Koji  ,  Nagai, Megumi  ,  Takemura, Tsukasa

<Abstract>Following reports of a Japanese student who died of an allergic reaction to a school lunch, strategies aimed at food allergy prevention have been examined in settings such as day nurseries, kindergartens, and schools. We conducted a questionnaire survey of educational staff members attending an instructional meeting about food allergy, aiming to formulate strategies likely to benefit affected children. Although most attendees had basic knowledge of food allergy, more than 90% reported anxiety or stress over the management of allergic children. Furthermore, 94% reported anxiety over using an adrenaline auto injector (EpiPen®) for allergic symptoms at school, with uncertainty over timing of use being the most frequent reason. The presentation at the meeting promoted knowledge regarding food allergy, but if did not significantly reduce attendees, anxiety or stress. Teacher confidence and the quality of life of children with food allergies might be improved by better knowledge of individual children's states of health at kindergartens and schools, implementation of EpiPen®-based plans for symptom control, ongoing information programs for educators, and improved liaisons between schools and community health facilities.

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