Harrisonburg City Schools Works To Keep Kids With Allergies Safe

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- A new government survey shows one in 20 kids in America have food allergies, which is up 50 % from the late 1990s.

Local schools are working to make sure kids with allergies are able to eat lunch without issue.

Executive Director of Nutrition with Harrisonburg City Schools Andrea Early said if a parent has any concerns, they can talk to her about menu planning.

The cafeteria worker in the checkout line also has a list on a computer that automatically shows each child's allergies if any, just in case they grab the wrong food.

There are a lot of theories about the increase in allergies.

A doctor at Northwestern University suggests that the American habit of disinfecting and using antibiotics so much doesn't give kids enough of a chance to be exposed o germs early.

No matter the child's allergy, If they know about it, cafeteria workers have substitutions available.

"..Then we'd want to look at our menus and decide what the child could have and see what substitutions can be made. We have a large notebook that contains all the nutrition information of any products that we serve so we can really look through those ingredient statements with the parents and then make a plan," said Early.

Some pediatricians recommend you avoid giving kids eggs early, which would mean waiting until they're about 9 months old.

Others have a different school of that and recommend exposing infants early.

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