KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Approximately two children in every classroom have a food allergy. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, a research and resource group, 5.9 million kids under the age of 18 have one.
On Nov. 3, Elijah Silvera, 3, died after he was given a grilled cheese sandwich at his New York preschool. He had a severe allergy to dairy.
Janet Kite, with the Children’s Center Knoxville says food allergies are something she and her staff take very seriously by posting doctors’ notes in several rooms.
“We post the note which tells you in very detail form what the allergy is,” said Kite. “In this specific case, it’s just for milk, not dairy, just milk.Then we put the child’s picture in front of the note, so ,if someone was to walk in and not know the name of the child, they do know that this is the child that has the allergy.”
Kite says when it comes to small children the threat doesn’t end after the child has gotten the food.
“They have the possibility of touching someone else’s food,” said Kite. “I mean that is possible. They can try to touch someone else plate, they could try to get something off, so, we have to have two people seated anytime food is present with those children.”
Kite says there have been no incidents during her 22 years with the school, but they are prepared if the worst should happen.
“We are able to administer an EpiPen,” said Kite. “Everyone is trained on how to do that, so, if we were to have a child go into anaphylactic shock, then we would know how to do an EpiPen on site.