Purpose of Review
The goal of this review is to characterize food allergy management and anaphylaxis in schools and assess current policies and level of preparedness of schools to recognize and treat anaphylaxis.
An increasing number of school-aged children have food allergies, and studies show that a significant number of school children with no known history of allergies will experience their first anaphylactic reaction at school. Stock-unassigned epinephrine auto-injectors are recommended in schools but not mandatory in most states, and therefore, epinephrine is not always available. Non-nursing staff members are sometimes administering epinephrine due to limitations in nurse staffing.
Wide variations in staff training and lack of stock epinephrine leave many schools inadequately prepared to manage anaphylactic reactions. Emphasis should be placed not only on ensuring all schools have stock epinephrine but also on training a wider range of school staff members to minimize treatment delay with epinephrine and improve clinical outcomes.