508:
Effectiveness of Implementing a Defined Food Allergy Management Plan in the Public School Setting
Sunday, March 4, 2018
South Hall A2 (Convention Center)
Katherine C Neighbors, RN
RATIONALE: With an increased number of students attending school with food allergies, there is increased risk of severe allergic reaction to a diagnosed or undiagnosed food allergen. We sought to determine the effectiveness of a food allergy management guideline which provides an algorithm to teachers, school nurses, and staff members to employ in case of exposure to an allergen and reduce the risk of anaphylaxis in schools.

METHODS: Data was collected from students attending one of the largest school systems in North Carolina, population of approximately 160,000 students. They implemented guidelines to minimize risk of accidental allergen exposure. This policy includes offering the use of individual placemats for food allergy students, implementing a no-sharing policy, wiping cafeteria tables with water between groups and performing proper hand hygiene before and after food handling for all students.

RESULTS: During the 2016-17 year, 1,878 students had a clearly-defined food allergy management plan. Eight reactions required use of epinephrine autoinjectors. One of these eight was due to a known food allergy exposure. Five of eight episodes were administered for unknown exposures, and three were due to allergies other than food.

CONCLUSIONS: With an increased number of students attending school with food allergies, there is increased risk of severe allergic reaction to a diagnosed or undiagnosed food allergen. We sought to determine the effectiveness of a food allergy management guideline which provides an algorithm to teachers, school nurses, and staff members to employ in case of exposure to an allergen and reduce the risk of anaphylaxis in schools.