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Training about food allergies can save lives

2:24 PM, Nov 6, 2012   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Food provides nourishment and comfort, but it also can become deadly for kids with food allergies.

"I wish people would understand that something simple like a food like milk could kill your child," said Wendy Siegel, the mother of a child with food allergies.

Siegel learned her daughter Maddie was allergic to milk when she first introduced her to solid food as a baby.

"She always had rashes on her face and stomach issues," Siegel said.

Life-threatening food allergies afflict approximately 6 million children.

"Nuts or peanuts, eggs or milk are the common allergies," said Dr. Kathleen Sheerin with Atlanta Allergy and Asthma Clinics.

Many schools now offer training in the use of life-saving EPI or Epinephrine pens not only to teachers, but for bus drivers and cafeteria staff, too.

"Even just in the last five years, there's been a dramatic change in the approach to food allergies," Dr. Sheerin said. "Schools in Georgia are 100% better than they were."

Dr. Sheerin said parents and kids should practice with empty EPI Pens and the Siegel family agrees.

"We've started training her friends cause you want to know that in an emergency, the people who are around her are able to react and save her life, if they need to," Siegel said.

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