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Food Allergy Knowledge Among Summer Camp Personnel before and after an Evidence Based Educational Session
Sunday, March 6, 2016
South Exhibit Hall H (Convention Center)
Margaret Redmond, MD, Rebecca Scherzer, MD FAAAAI, Kara J. Wada, MD, Kasey Strothman, MD, Erin Kempe, Barbara Galantowicz, David R. Stukus, MD FAAAAI
Rationale: With the increasing prevalence of food allergies among children during the last two decades, management in the school setting has received more attention. Children with food allergies are at risk for reactions in other group settings, including summer camps. There is a lack of data exploring the knowledge about food allergies among summer camp personnel.  

Methods: Survey data was collected prior to a one-hour food allergy educational session for personnel(n=43) at Flying Horse Farms, an overnight camp for children with chronic medical diseases. Follow-up data was collected one month later via an online survey(n=25,58% response). Pre/post results were compared using a two-tailed Z-test. 

Results: In 2014, 446 campers attended camp and 15%(n=68) reported food allergy. Staff personnel were primarily 18-24 years old(n=29,70%), female(n=33,77%), and without a personal or family history of food allergy(n=31,72%). At baseline 38/43(88%) of respondents correctly identified self-injectable epinephrine as first-line management of anaphylaxis; which increased to 100% at follow-up(p=0.09). Approximately 25%(n=11) reported no previous training on proper use of self-injectable epinephrine. After the session, comfort level increased both caring for children with food allergy(56% to 83%(p=0.02)) and treating a food allergy emergency (38% to 71%(p=0.01)). Perceived need for more information about food allergies decreased from 84% to 13%(p<0.001) of respondents. 

Conclusions: At an overnight summer camp for medically complex children, there was an increase in staff comfort and knowledge about food allergies after an educational session. Inclusion of educational resources providing basic food allergy management skills targeted at summer camps should be considered a mandatory part of all training.