Allergies can affect people in many different ways, and food allergies can be especially dangerous. Some of the most common foods that can cause allergic reactions include nuts, shellfish, dairy, wheat, and soy. Many allergies can be life-threatening if a person consumes or is exposed to certain types of foods. Children are especially susceptible to these types of issues, and they may suffer serious harm if they are exposed to allergens while at school. In these cases, parents will need to understand the steps they can take to pursue compensation from a school district whose officials did not take the proper measures to prevent these issues.
Requirements for Schools Regarding Children’s Food Allergies
Food allergies are considered disabilities under the laws of the United States, and schools are prohibited from discriminating against students who have these types of health issues. This means that students who have food allergies should be able to receive the same forms of education and participate in the same activities as other students without being placed at risk of serious injury.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has created a set of Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies In Schools and Early Care and Education Programs that provide recommendations for how schools can create a Food Allergy Management Prevention Plan. Multiple federal laws also ensure that schools do not discriminate against children with these types of disabilities. In addition to federal laws and guidelines, multiple states have implemented their own guidelines and requirements.
The state of Illinois has created guidelines that school boards are required to follow when creating policies for the management of students with food allergies. In addition to ensuring that school personnel are properly trained on how to prevent exposure to food allergens and how to respond to life-threatening allergic reactions, schools are required to implement Emergency Action Plans, Individual Health Care Plans, and/or 504 plans for students with food allergies. Schools should also follow best practices to prevent injuries related to food allergies, including:
Making sure the proper procedures to prevent allergic reactions are followed in classrooms, cafeterias, outdoor activity areas, school buses, after-school activities, and field trips.
Removing foods from the educational curriculum where possible or substituting non-allergenic foods or non-food items in classes with children who have food allergies.
Ensuring that food preparation or serving of food during fundraising events or birthday parties is limited to cafeterias or other designated areas.
Following the proper cleaning procedures in common areas, including libraries, computer labs, music rooms, art rooms, and hallways.
Providing training for all faculty and staff members on how to recognize and respond to allergic reactions.
Conducting medical emergency response drills at least two times per year.
Contact Our Illinois School Food Allergy Injury Attorneys
If your child has experienced an allergic reaction while at school, the attorneys of Newland & Newland, LLP can investigate your case and determine whether this occurred because school officials were not following the correct policies and regulations. We will help you take steps to recover compensation for the harm done to your child and your family. Contact our Illinois allergic reaction injury lawyers at 312-981-0409 to arrange a complimentary consultation.