School Support for Teachers & Staff
We are so happy to see more and more schools increasing food allergy awareness in recent years!
Though this awareness will help a child affected by FPIES, there are some unique considerations that schools and staff will want to keep in mind when assisting the child living with an FPIES diagnosis.
What is FPIES?
Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Classic symptoms of FPIES include profound vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. These symptoms can lead to severe lethargy, change in body temperature and blood pressure. Unlike typical food allergies, symptoms may not be immediate and do not show up on standard allergy tests. Furthermore, the negative allergy evaluation may delay the diagnosis and take the focus off the causative food. Nonetheless, FPIES can present with severe symptoms following ingestion of a food trigger. Read more. . .
Because FPIES is considered rare and is not often well-known, it is essential that all educators and school staff gain an understanding of how to prevent and identify FPIES reactions. This includes learning ways to ensure safe classrooms and play spaces, becoming familiar with how to explain safety practices (such as handwashing regimens and food-free celebrations) to other students and their parents, and how to empower affected students and their families to be involved in creating safe spaces and appropriate accommodations.
Though FPIES reactions do not present in the same way as an IgE allergy, reactions can still have serious consequences and require emergency medical attention. An EPI pen will not stop an FPIES reaction. For information about emergency management practices during FPIES reactions, please visit our Emergency Care page to access free resources to help yourself and all school staff better accommodate children affected by FPIES.
Star Tips for Schools
Some children are still learning what foods are safe or unsafe; it is important to know any changes to each child’s allergen list. Be aware of this in regards to not only snacks and meals, but also things like sensory materials, art supplies and items brought to classroom parties. In addition, some children are sensitive to contact with food residue on classroom materials-- a consistent and regular handwashing regimen is essential.
Food Trials and School
It is important to know when a child is trialing a new food– changes in mood, behavior and overall health may be observed.
A communication log can help parents and teachers to share information about these observations
Special Resources, Just for FPIES
Appropriate management is key in helping our children to safely and positively experience their school life. This can be done in part by utilizing FPIES specific education materials in school settings and all related school activities. Supplemental materials for your staff trainings and inservices are available upon request or can be downloaded for free below.
FPIES Foundation Articles: School Settings
Whether it be a presentation for parents, educators, medical staff, or all district professionals, The FPIES Foundation supports efforts to educate and raise awareness to FPIES. We are here to help! Contact us today, via email or postal mail, to request resources and support for your next training or in-service. If print resources will be needed, no problem! Resources are always free. Just complete a resource request and send it in via email or postal mail, allowing a month to process large resource requests.
Just For Kids
Visit the kids’ resource page here and check out kid-friendly tools to help your students better understand and cope with FPIES life.
Page published: Nov.11,2013. Last update: May 18, 2018. Copyright © 2013, The FPIES Foundation