Allergy Awareness

"Allergies may be more serious than they seem,” said Trinity Peterson, a 9th grade student at Harrisburg High School who suffers through the following allergies; nut, egg, and dairy. According to the Food Allergy Research and Education website, two out of every thirteen kidshave a food allergy; that’s forty percent of children with a food allergy. Now, the problem that needs to be addressed is that many students don't know the procedure and the seriousness of some allergies. Anaphylactic shock, for example, occurs when an individual ingests an allergen and experiences a severe allergic reaction. Harrisburg High School nurse, Michelle Cotter, explained the procedures when dealing with anaphylactic shock: “First, I determine what the allergen ingested was or what the person may have come into contact with. If it happens with a student, I look up if there is a plan of care to reference for emergency treatment from their doctor.” Speaking from experience, Trinity shared advice to her surrounding peers, “Stay calm, avoid staring and crowding, and call the school nurse.” She felt that this would appropriately direct other students nearby; similarly, this would help her stay relaxed. Nurse Cotter shared some symptoms she sees when a student is going into anaphylactic shock. She explainedd, “Symptoms we may see when a student is having an allergic reaction may include hives, itching, tongue or throat feeling ‘tingly,’ vomiting, anxiety, and difficulty breathing if the reaction is severe.” Because allergies are becoming more common in schools today, it is important for students and staff to understand their procedures and seriousness; therefore, awareness will make a difference in spreading the word about allergies.