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Letter: Allergies Cause Concern

Food allergies among students are on the rise in our schools. Each year there are more and more children diagnosed with some sort of food allergy. Are our children safe in school? Does the school truly recognize and take these food allergies seriously? Policies are nice, but are they being looked at, or even enforced? Everyone seems to know someone with a child with food allergies, and yet, teachers (with allergic students) are eating nuts while class is in session. Who will protect our children? Changes must be made throughout the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School system.

In January of 2012, at the Manor Oaks School in New Hyde Park an incident occurred where two children with known food allergies were given fried rice containing egg (egg being their allergen) to consume by a member of the faculty. The school’s medical staff failed to take preventive actions, risking anaphylaxis with each of the two children. Time is of the essence. The school’s medical staff felt it more important to make parental inquiries, as to whether the antihistamine should be given, rather than treating the children first, placing them at risk.

Let it be known, that even with parental consent, neither child ever received the antihistamine. This is unacceptable, and saddens us as parents and taxpayers. Allergy awareness must exist and be enforced in our schools. From the PTA to the principal’s staff to the superintendent, all the way up to the school board of education, everyone passes responsibility, yet no changes are being made, leaving our children in jeopardy. Our children deserve to be educated in a safe and healthy environment. As parents, we must be assured of our child’s safety while in the New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School system, and confident of the school’s ability to perform in emergency situations.

Ernest and Christine Kreth