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Food Allergy Guidelines

Food Allergy patients now have the benefit of two beneficial sets of guidelines:

  • one for patients and clinicians; and
  • one for schools and early care and education (ECE) programs.

Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy

Clinical guidelines have been issued to help assure quality diagnosis and treatment for millions of American adults and children living with food allergies. The 
Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States are intended for use by physicians and other healthcare practitioners who treat patients with food allergies. Patients benefit directly, because the guidelines provide standardized information and recommendations to healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of food allergies.

A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which oversees allergy research, developed these guidelines. So what’s in the guidelines for those individuals with food allergies?

  • Definitions
  • Common food allergens
  • How food allergy develops
  • Diagnosing food allergy and which tests are used
  • Ways to manage your food allergy after a diagnosis
  • Anaphylaxis and foods most likely to cause it
  • What to do if you are experiencing anaphylaxis
  • Be prepared – have an emergency plan in case you experience anaphylaxis

In addition to the links below to these three food allergy guidelines documents , you can find answers to frequently asked questions about the guidelines, the guidelines development process, and the public comment period here.

Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers

 Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Centers are the first national guidelines developed to help schools and early care education (ECE) programs address the needs of the growing number of children with food allergies. These Guidelines are intended to help implement food allergy management and prevention plans and practices in schools and early care education (ECE) programs (programs for pre-school-age children). These Guidelines provide practical information, planning steps, and strategies for reducing allergic reactions and responding to life-threatening reactions for parents, district administrators, school administrators and staff, and ECE program administrators and staff. They can guide improvements in existing food allergy management plans and practices. They can also help schools and ECE programs develop a plan where none currently exists.

The Guidelines include recommendations in 5 priority areas:

  • Ensure the daily management of food allergies in individual children
  • Prepare for food allergy emergencies
  • Provide professional development on food allergies for staff members
  • Educate children and family members about food allergies
  • Create and maintain a healthy and safe educational environment

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health, convened a panel of experts to provide guidance along with conceptual, technical, and editorial help from many other federal agencies. AAFA is proud to have played an important role in these guidelines with two members on the expert panel: Mary Brasler, former Director of Programs and Services and Michael Pistiner, Chair of the Medical Advisory Team for Kids with Food Allergies, a division of AAFA.

For answers to frequently asked questions about these guidelines and putting these guidelines into practice click here.

What Can You Do?

  1. If you have food allergies or care for a child with food allergies:
    Link to information about the 
    Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States and the Food Allergy Guidelines and Food Allergy Guidelines for Schools/ECE programs.
  2. Make sure your healthcare provider is familiar with the new Clinical guidelines.
  3. Make sure your child’s school/ECE program is familiar with the new Food Allergy Guidelines for Schools/ECE.

Other Food Allergy Guidelines Resources

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