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Celiac disease news: School guidelines updated for food allergies

Lana Bandoim's picture

School guidelines have been updated by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology to reflect the latest recommendations for dealing with allergies that include food items. The new proposals outline how to deal with anaphylaxis in a school setting. Unfortunately, families have learned that actually forcing a school to follow the rules is another challenge.


The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology has provided a detailed guide to dealing with anaphylaxis, and a special section focuses on food allergies. People with celiac disease may benefit from reading this information because the society lists wheat as a possible trigger of a severe allergic reaction. The guidelines are available for free online and can be printed off to share with school administrators.

A food allergy is considered one of the common reasons for a person to experience anaphylaxis, and it is possible for a person with severe celiac disease to have this type of reaction. However, a gluten-free food diet may not be enough because triggers may also appear in medicine, packaging and other products. The Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology wants people to understand how to avoid a reaction and how to handle one if it occurs. Preparation at the school level is crucial for families with children who are at risk.

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The United States previously updated its guidelines through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The organization put together a large packet of information available online that includes voluntary proposals for dealing with food allergies. Recommendations for how schools should handle students with a variety of allergies are listed along with suggestions for parents.

Despite the great resources available for handling restricted diets, allergies and other conditions, parents often report the hesitation they see in schools to adopt the guidelines. Since some of the recommendations are voluntary, it is not possible to force the administration to follow them. Unfortunately, families have learned to fight to make sure their children’s conditions are handled properly in a school setting.

Read more about celiac disease:
Federal school lunch program concerns for celiac disease
Avoiding gluten cross-contamination for celiac disease

Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikimedia Commons