Are you food allergy aware?

This week is Food Allergy Awareness Week, an important week in any school.

The charity Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia (A&AA) is marking the week by calling on all Australians to unite and examine their approach to often life-threatening food allergies. 

As part of Food Allergy Awareness Week, individuals are asked to be aware and educate themselves about food allergies. The organisers also request we show we care by donating, holding a fundraiser, downloading a badge or committing to one of the other supportive displays listed on the Food Allergy Awareness Week website

Some easy ways we can all be allergy aware include:

  • knowing what your classmates – and your child’s classmates – are allergic to
  • never sharing food with friends that have a food allergy
  • always washing your hands after you eat.

The website also features helpful tips on preparing food in a way that doesn’t pose risks to those with allergies.

At Radford, we take allergies very seriously. College Nurse Sophie Davis explains:

Radford College has an allergy awareness policy. The number of children with food allergies in Australia is increasing. The most common food allergies are to peanuts, tree nuts, cow’s milk, soy, seafood and eggs. The symptoms of food allergies range from mild to life threatening anaphylaxis. 

Radford College is allergy aware and allergy friendly, but not nut-free. Parents are encouraged to avoid sending their child to school with nuts or foods containing nuts.

There are various precautions in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of those students who suffer from allergies. Parents are requested to ensure that any allergies are reported to the school and if a child needs an EpiPen or antihistamines that these are supplied to the school, along with an allergy management plan from your GP or specialist. It is also important to remind children not to share foods at school. 

College staff are trained to recognise and respond to symptoms of anaphylaxis and allergies.

According to (A&AA), Australia has one of the world’s highest incidences of food allergy and, alarmingly, this is only increasing – in fact, 10 per cent of babies born in Australia will develop a food allergy.

‘With no known cure for food allergy, awareness and education is of utmost importance, as a severe allergic reaction and/or anaphylaxis can rapidly become life threatening, and must be treated as a medical emergency,’ the website states. ‘It’s important for all Australians to be aware of food allergies, and know how to respond in an emergency situation.’

Please take a moment to discuss food allergies with your children to help ensure that they, and their classmates, remain safe at school.

For more information on Food Allergy Week or food allergies in general, please visit https://www.foodallergyaware.com.au/ or phone 6162 6283 to contact the College Nurse. 

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