WAEC learns about allergies

Keeping children safe and healthy is part of every school’s goal. When children have food allergies, others need to be aware and conscientious of certain foods that trigger a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis which causes death. Serious food allergies affect one in 13 kids. At Warren Area Elementary Center (WAEC) that would be about two children per classroom.

During Food Allergy Awareness week, May 11 to 17, teachers and students will receive PAL (Protect a Life) stickers to help inform the student population, and, on Friday, May 16, staff and students will wear the color green to show awareness. An informative handout on bright green paper will be sent home with students. Posters will be displayed around the school and some parents will visit WAEC to read a children’s book about allergies to several classes. Lastly, allergy facts will be emailed to teachers daily.

Warren Allergy Mom’s group is spearheading the Food Allergy Awareness Week. The group was started in January by two mothers of children with allergies – Katie Keeports, WAEC kindergarten, and Megan Menard, wife of WAEC’s guidance counselor. Recently, Keeports’ daughter, Charlotte, a WAEC first grader, had an allergic reaction on her bus and was rushed by ambulance to the hospital. Charlotte has a peanut allergy. To support each other and educate others to help keep their children safe, the mothers began the group which meets the third Friday of each month at 8 p.m. in the community room at Thorne’s Bi-Lo. Information about the club is on Facebook and Twitter.

To also bring allergy information into the spotlight, the Warren Allergy Mom’s group have donated a children’s book focusing on peanut allergies called “The Peanut Free Cafe” by Gloria Koster, illustrated by Maryann Coca-Leffler. In addition, Gisele Majidi-Weese’s family is donating an “Arthur” episode DVD titled “Binky Goes Nuts’ to the WAEC library.

The public can find food allergy information at the website www.foodallergy.org.