An increasing number of school-aged children are being diagnosed with food-related allergies: the most common allergens include milk, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.), wheat, soy, fish and eggs. It has been estimated that 5% of children in the U.S. are at risk. Anaphylaxis (an allergic response that can culminate in cardio-respiratory failure and can be fatal) is the most extreme presentation of these allergies.
The Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Department strives to provide a safe environment for all children. In keeping with that mission, the Department has created a policy regarding food-related allergies. As peanuts and derivative products are the allergens most often identified with potential anaphylactic events in a child care or camp setting, the current policy will focus on these food allergies.
The department and the families of allergic children acknowledge that despite our best efforts, we cannot guarantee an absolutely allergen-free environment. The goal of this policy is to create a peanut/nut-aware environment which will reduce the risks to children with life-threatening nut allergies. We also encourage families of children with any life-threatening food allergies to work with our staff to develop a safety protocol appropriate for their children’s medical needs.
- It is the responsibility of parents to notify the Recreation Department of children with medically documented food allergies. The department does not have diagnostic responsibility.
- If you have a child with food allergies, please educate your child in the self-management of their food allergy by:
- Insuring that he or she knows safe and unsafe foods;
- Provide him or her with strategies to avoid exposure to unsafe foods.
- Encourage your child not to eat any foods that other children may want to share.
- Inform him or her of symptoms of any allergic reaction he or she may have;
- Encourage him or her to tell an adult whenever he or she may have an allergy related problem;
- Teach your child how to read food labels.
- All food allergic children should have a medic alert bracelet or necklace.
- To avoid contamination of foods with peanut/nut products in our facilities and to reduce the risks of peanut/nut residue in the facilities we will implement the following:
- Peanut butter and other peanut/nut products will not be provided by the HK Recreation Department.
- There will be a clearly labeled “peanut/nut-free” lunch area at each facility where children eat lunches that they have brought to camp.
- All tables will be washed with disposable towels after each meal or snack.
- It is strongly recommended that children who eat peanut butter or nut products for lunch wash their hands to reduce the risk of peanut butter/nut residue leaving the lunch area.
- EpiPens and other medical interventions for children with food allergies will be placed in a secure, but easily accessible, location and will travel with the child when on field trips.
- HK Recreation sponsored programs with severely peanut/nut allergic children may need to institute additional safety precautions in order to maintain a peanut/nut-free environment. In such cases, it may be necessary to completely exclude the bringing of any foods containing peanuts and/or nuts into the effected programs.
- Parents would be notified prior to the start of the program with information about these safety measures.
- HK Recreation Department will continue to implement a department wide education program about food allergies for staff.