Peanut Policies - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Peanut Policies

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Food allergies can be a big concern for parents--- one of the most common is peanut allergies.

"We worry about food allergies and schools because it can trigger anaphylaxis which is an allergic emergency, so it's something that may need to be treated or would need to be treated in the school immediately shouldn't happen," said allergist Dr. Benjamin Close.

One Cenla parent we spoke with says her daughter's allergies are so severe-- she has to closely monitor her daughter's activities inside and outside the classroom.

"She has standing orders from two allergists, four doctor's letters that state she supposed to be in a peanut/tree nut-free classroom and that she's not supposed to consume peanuts and tree nuts," said Kimberly Johnson.

Medical experts say anaphylactic shock can lead to very serious medical issues.

"Some of those symptoms can include itching and hives and flushing, difficulty breathing like coughing or wheezing and trouble swallowing, throat closing, nausea vomiting drop in blood pressure," said Close.

One of the first lines of defense is injectable epinephrine, like the Epipen

"Anti-histamines as well as steroids are more second line treatment that can be given right after epinephrine. Epinephrine is the first line of treatment for an allergic reaction," said Close.

Many school nurses around Rapides Parish met Monday during an in-service day to discuss how to help treat and monitor students affected by allergies.

"We follow physicians orders and we train the staff in the schools on-we create a health care plan on students who have anaphylaxis or have medications ordered for anaphylaxis and we follow the health care plan and we in-service and educate the staff and students and the schools about the steps of following the health plan," said Nurse Stephanie Bartow.

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