Anne H. Sheetz, MPH, RN, CNAA, Director, School Health Services, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 250 Washington St., Boston, MA 02108
Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Massachusetts Schools
Article first published online: 9 OCT 2009
2004 American School Health Association
Journal of School Health
Volume 74, Issue 5, pages 155–160, May 2004
How to Cite
Sheetz, A. H., Goldman, P. G., Millett, K., Franks, J. C., Mclntyre, C. L., Carroll, C. R., Gorak, D., Harrison, C. S. and Carrick, M. A. (2004), Guidelines for Managing Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Massachusetts Schools. Journal of School Health, 74: 155–160. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2004.tb08212.x
- Issue published online: 9 OCT 2009
- Article first published online: 9 OCT 2009
- submitted December 1, 2003, and accepted for publication March 12, 2004.
ABSTRACT: During the past decade, prevalence of food allergies among children increased. Caring for children with life-threatening food allergies has become a major challenge for school personnel. Prior to 2002, Massachusetts did not provide clear guidelines to assist schools in providing a safe environment for these children and preparing for an emergency response to unintended allergic reactions. In 2001, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America/New England Chapter, Massachusetts Department of Education, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts School Nurse Organization, parents, and other professional organizations forged a successful collaboration to develop guidelines for managing life- threatening food allergies in schools. The guidelines assist schools by providing information on food allergies and anaphylaxis, emphasizing the need for team planning and development of an individualized health care plan, giving guidance on strategies to prevent accidental exposure to specific allergens in school settings, and offering information on emergency responses should unintended exposures occur. The collaborative process for developing the guidelines, which continued during the distribution and implementation phases, set a tone for successful multidisciplinary teamwork in local schools.