Caresse Jackman

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Video: Paying Attention To Food Allergies

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NORTH MISSISSIPPI AND ALABAMA, Miss. (WCBI)- A local school teacher was recently fired after an incident in her classroom.

The child reportedly suffered an allergic reaction to peanut butter after the teacher left the container open on her desk.

From milk and eggs to peanuts, food allergies can affect any child, especially when they’re at school. Many school districts, including Lamar County Alabama, have strict policies in place to protect students.

“When they’re with us at school we want to ensure that those kids are safe at all times. We do not buy products with peanuts in them anymore, just because in the past we had students who would just be around peanuts and have an allergic reaction,” said Child Nutrition Director Wendy Morrison.

Morrison says when it comes to allergic reactions, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The first step is making sure educators are aware of the dangers associated with certain foods.

“The nurses work with the teachers, they get them a list, basically a plan for any child that has any allergies and they keep it on record and anytime they give rewards or that nature, they encourage a reward other than a food item,” said Morrison.

It’s also important that children with allergies know what to do.

“When the kids come in and they do have a really severe allergy to a food, like peanuts, we’ll go over with them the use of an EpiPen with the child like we do with a teacher or parent, so they know the importance of how to use it, when to use it and where,” said Jennifer Buchanan, LPN for Otolaryngology Associates in Columbus.

Buchanan says if it’s not treated properly, allergic reactions can potentially be deadly.

“Anaphylaxis can happen pretty quickly and if it’s not taken care of fast, you know with an EpiPen, the throat can close off pretty quickly,” said Buchanan.

This is why children’s health conditions should be openly discussed between parents and teachers.

It’s very important to communicate with the parents because that is our main source of info and keeping open communication is very important for us in the cafeteria and for the nurses as well,” said Morrison.

School officials also say kids also grow out of allergies, so it’s important that parents continue to update them on their child’s condition.