An August 20 news article on USAToday.com reported on the action taken by a school district in Arizona, following a fourth grader’s repeated exposure to peanuts and suffering severe allergic reactions. The report said, “Mesa resident April Mahaffey filed a complaint with the civil-rights division of the U.S. Department of Education in April after she removed her son from Adams Elementary School in Mesa.”
Mahaffey reported bringing her son to a hospital after he was exposed to peanut residue on desks. According to the report, “The boy’s allergies are so severe that he can suffer potentially fatal anaphylactic shock if he is near peanuts or tree nuts, Mahaffey said.”
The severity of the boy’s allergies led to his being able to take advantage of a 504 Plan, which doesn’t allow nuts in his classroom and at his cafeteria table. Failure to follow a 504 Plan is considered a violation of federal law. The article also said, ‘Officials are “assessing the complexity of implementation within the district, including training and protocols, access to supply and funding,” she said.”
Peanut allergy is one of the most common types of food allergy in children, affecting around three million Americans (or 1.1 percent of the population). Although there aren’t really any statistics that show the amount of children who have food allergies in Phoenix, a national study believes that four out of a hundred children are affected.
Allergic responses to food can appear minutes after the person has been exposed, with the symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mild reactions to peanut allergy include redness or swelling of skin, itching in and around the mouth and throat, tightening of the throat, wheezing, runny nose, and digestive problems. However, when the person is already having an anaphylaxis, he will need to be brought to an emergency room to be treated with epinephrine.
This is why it is important to have allergy testing in Phoenix once you suspect that you or your child have an allergy. Clinics like the Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates, P.C. provide this kind of service to help you manage allergy symptoms and enjoy life more.