Definition/Description According to: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ “An abnormally high sensitivity to certain substances, such as pollens, foods, or microorganisms.” Marotz(2009), states that an error in the body’s immune system causes it to overreact to a harmless substance, thus causing an allergic reaction.
Facts and Statistics from Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) According to AAFA, about 20 percent of Americans have allergies and/or allergic asthma
Allergen Subcategories Allergens are the substances that cause allergic reactions and are categorized according to where their symptoms occur Ingestants Inhalants Contactants Injectables Retrieved from: (Marotz, 2009)
Ingestants Upset digestion Cause respiratory issues Examples include:
Blue discoloration around the mouth and nailbeds
Retrieved from: (Marotz, 2009)
Anaphylaxis (cont) This should be treated as an If anaphylaxis occurs AN ABULANCE SHOULD BE CALLED IMMEDIATELY.
Managing Allergies There are no known cures for allergies. However they can be managed. A physician can help parents formulate a treatment plan after a positive allergy test. This may include strategies such as medication or removing allergens from the child’s environment as much as possible. “Most allergies are easily managed with the right treatment plan.” (http://www.aafa.org) Retrieved from: http://www.aafa.org
Affects on Children’s Daily Life Children may be overprotected to avoid reactions Children may be self conscious about their appearances due to sneezing, runny noses, rashes, and/or red and swollen eyes Poor self esteem Maladjustment Withdrawn behaviors It is also important not to let children use allergies for special attention or privileges
Suggestions for Teachers Parents are usually the best resource as they know their child best and what has and hasn’t worked. Even the child may be able to contribute to your plan of action. Keep families informed For example: if there is a peanut allergy ask parents to try and avoid bringing food with peanuts to a party or in severe cases in their child’s lunch Do not allow a child to use his allergies to gain special attention Clinics and hospitals offer classes to help children and their families adjust which can benefit teachers. Professional websites are also great resources.
Common Allergies Eggs Milk (milk products) Fish and Shellfish Peanuts Tree nuts Wheat and wheat products soybeans Retrieved from: (Marotz, 2009)
AAFA: A Good Resource This organizations website: http://www.aafa.org is a great resource to start with. It has various facts pertaining to Allergies and Asthma such as:
References http://www.thefreedictionary.com/allergy http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=19&cont=253 Marotz, L.R. (2009). Health, safety, and nutrition for the young child, 7th ed. Wadsworth Pub Co.