In Australia, it is estimated that up to 2% of adults and 6% of children have food allergy (www.allergyfacts.org.au). Nine foods cause 90% of food induced allergic reactions. These foods are: egg, milk, peanut, fish (fin fish), soy, sesame, tree nuts (cashews, almonds, pistachio etc.), shellfish (prawns, crab, lobster etc.) and wheat. The most severe allergic reaction to food is called anaphylaxis and can be life-threatening. At Ivanhoe East, 24 students have been diagnosed at risk of anaphylaxis and another 8 students have a food allergy.
End of Year Class Parties
The thoughts of many have turned to class parties as the end of the year approaches. Class parties are great fun but can be a stressful time for the students at our school with anaphylaxis or allergy, their parents and their teachers.
Students with anaphylaxis bring their own foods along to class parties. However, if their parents are able to attend the party to supervise their eating, the students may be able to eat some of the foods provided by others. So, to help keep our anaphylactic students safe, would all parents please keep the following in mind when sending along foods for class parties:
- Do not send in any foods containing nuts
- Do not send along other foods which individual teachers have asked you to avoid
- List all the ingredients in home-made items
- Send shop-bought products along unopened so that ingredients can be checked.
Our parents of students with anaphylaxis understand that we can never claim to be an allergen free school and, indeed, that it is better that we teach anaphylactic students to manage themselves and their environment rather than promote a false sense of security. However, if the above guidelines are followed by all parents, the stresses associated with class parties may be alleviated.
Thanks for your support,
Sally Calvert, Anaphylaxis Coordinator
Hilda Hallinan and Sam Meaden, School Nurses
Milena Maranville, Principal