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School and Allergies, Asthma

Teaching Teacher About Allergies

A group of school staff in Alberta increased their knowledge of anaphylaxis and what to do in an allergy emergency by 27 per cent after testing out a new online training program last year.

Following that impressive result, the Alberta government has announced that the Canadian Anaphylaxis Readiness Education (C.A.R.E.) program will be open to all Alberta teachers and school administrators in a bid to keep allergic students safe and prevent accidents.

Anaphylaxis Canada, which was involved in C.A.R.E.’s development, says Ontario is next on the list to test-drive the program. The program is customized to a particular province’s school system and needs.

“The safety of our schoolchildren is of the utmost importance to everyone involved in the education system, Dave Hancock, Alberta’s Minister of Education, noted in a press release. “This is an example of government collaborating with stakeholders to provide a comprehensive response to health concerns in the school setting.”

The interactive program includes audio, visuals, text, downloadable resources and also presents various scenarios for what kind of situations might arise in the school that could put an allergic child at risk.

It uses the second edition of the handbook Anaphylaxis in Schools & Other Settings developed by the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology and allergy education groups for its up-to-date source material.

Sections in the program include, “Signs & Symptoms,” “How to Respond to an Emergency,” “Types of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors,” and even “Your Student with Asthma.”

Alberta participants reported feeling more confident in their knowledge of anaphylaxis after completing the program and felt more prepared to handle an emergency.

C.A.R.E. program was developed by Leap Learning Technologies and partners Anaphylaxis Canada and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, with support from the Government of Alberta, the AllerGen research network and McMaster University.

“This valuable resource will help ensure educators are better prepared to minimize risks in the school environment and respond appropriately to an allergic reaction,” said Laurie Harada, executive director of Anaphylaxis Canada.

For more information on the program, click here.

You can also contact Anaphylaxis Canada by email at: info@anaphylaxis.ca or call 1-866-785-5660.

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