Hot Topic Blog - Feeding, Eating, & Drinking
FOOD ALLERGIES IN DAYCARE: PRESCHOOL FOOD ALLERGY PREVENTIONCarla Snuggs, MLIS
Food allergies are common in young children. Daycare providers must be aware of food allergies and have a food allergy plan in place in order to keep kids safe.
Within the scope of child safety, preschool teachers and daycare providers must consider the threat of food allergies. Four out of 100 children have a food allergy, according to recent studies by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). In addition, children under age 5 years have higher rates of reported food allergy than children aged 5 to 17 (Center for Disease Control, 2008).
What is a Food Allergy?
A food allergy is an inappropriate reaction by the body’s immune system in response to the ingestion of a food, and the food is one that causes no adverse affects in the majority of individuals. Symptoms usually present within minutes to two hours after the child has ingested the food to which he or she is allergic. The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network lists common symptoms as: “a tingling sensation in the mouth, swelling of the tongue and the throat, difficulty breathing, hives, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, drop in blood pressure, loss of consciousness, and even death."
Common Food Allergies in Preschool Children
The most common food allergies in young children are caused by:
Tips for Managing Daycare Food Allergies
Sue Adair, Senior Manager of Quality Assurance for The Goddard School, offers the following advice for dealing with the individual needs of children with food allergies:
Managing a preschool or daycare when there are children with known food allergies in your care requires awareness, education, and communication between caregivers and parents. In addition when parents select childcare, they should choose a provider that is abreast of food allergies and their symptoms and has a food allergy plan in place.
The copyright of the article Food Allergies in Daycare in Day Care Regulations is owned by Carla Snuggs. Permission to republish Food Allergies in Daycare in print or online must be granted by the author in writing. Reprinted with permission from © Carla Snuggs; originally published Feb 17, 2009.