Food Allergy Safe school | Innovation Academy
Families with Severe Food Allergies: You Don’t Have to Compromise Safety for School!
My third child- a beautiful, feisty little red head girl, was diagnosed with an airborne peanut allergy on her first birthday. The first thing our doctor told us was that she would never be able to attend a “normal school”. Exposure to even the smallest amounts of peanut can put her into life threatening anaphylaxis. Even something as simple as someone breathing on her after they have eaten peanuts can be life threatening.
This diagnosis sent my family into a state of panic and desperation. I am a nurse with a second degree in education, and my husband is a firefighter/paramedic, so the magnitude of this type of allergy was not lost on us, especially from a medical perspective. We struggled with the life changing ways we were going to have to manage in order to keep her safe, but agreed that her safety should not have to come at the expense of making her live a life of isolation. We felt there must be a way to provide for our daughter and allow her to live as much of a “normal” life as possible. We started with research.
What we learned was shocking. While 1 in every 13 children in 2015 is diagnosed with a food allergy, the resources for those children and families is lacking. Especially when it comes to school. Sending your child to school when they have a severe food allergy is like playing a game of Russian Roulette…you just can’t control when a potential exposure may occur. For most schools, their solution is to isolate any kids with allergies, away from the rest of the kids. They may designate an “allergen free” room, or table, for those kids, but how safe can that really be for a child with a severe airborne allergy to something as common as peanuts?? With our backgrounds, and a support systems of amazing parents and teachers, we decided to create a one-of-a-kind elementary school that is 100% food allergy safe.
Food Allergy Facts (F.A.R.E.)
This potentially deadly disease affects 1 in every 13 children (under 18 years of age) in the U.S. That’s roughly two in every classroom.
Food allergies among children increased approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.
Every 3 minutes, a food allergy reaction sends someone to the emergency department
Teenagers and young adults with food allergies are at the highest risk of fatal food-induced anaphylaxis.
Innovation Academy is Born
It took us over 2 painstaking years, but we were finally able to open Innovation Academy Las Vegas-a Montessori based elementary school that is safe for kids with food allergies. Our campus is different because we don’t allow any outside snacks or meals. All food is provided on-site, catered by local restaurants aware of any specific allergies our students may have. There are no options for staff or children to bring in any food from home. All food served has an associated ingredient list from the FDA, or an ingredient list from the provided vendor, that allows every parent of a child with a food allergy to know exactly what is being provided to their kids. In addition to providing healthy, allergy safe meals to our students, we are also teaching them that inclusion and accommodation of those with differences from us does not have to be inconvenient.
We don’t know of any other schools in Las Vegas, or the country for that matter, that take these measures to keep our kids safe. But this is what you do when blessed with a child like ours. Please help me reach other families like ours, who are looking for a safe school option! A school like this may change their lives! In addition to being a food allergy safe campus, our curriculum is raising the bar for education in Las Vegas! CONTACT US today to learn more about all the things that makes Innovation Academy the best Las Vegas elementary school available!
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