CALL TODAY! 800-842-8430

Food Allergies and Your Church

8029603140_71e97b1d24Food is a common theme associated with many church activities. Whether it is in a child care setting, such as Sunday school and mothers’ days out, or church-wide meals, such as potlucks and Wednesday night suppers, food provides wonderful fellowship opportunities. However, food events can pose a threat to those with a food allergy. According to Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE), food allergies affect up to 15 million people in the United States. The National Center for Health Statistics indicates four out of every 100 children have a food allergy, and the prevalence is increasing. To help protect the members of your church, it is important to be educated on the subject and take measures in preventing allergic reactions.

Symptoms

Allergic reaction symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some symptoms can lead to the life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis, which can affect a person’s breathing and blood circulation. While some signs may appear within a few minutes of eating an allergen, others could become evident hours later. When serving food during an event, ask staff and volunteers to be aware and watch for allergic reaction symptoms.

  • Mild symptoms include:
  • Hives;
  • Eczema;
  • Redness of skin around the eyes;
  • Itchy mouth or ear canal; and
  • Vomiting, diarrhea or stomach pain.
  • Severe symptoms include:
  • Swelling of lips, tongue or throat that results in the obstruction of an airway;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Drop in blood pressure (feeling faint, confused, weak);
  • Weak or “thread” pulse; and
  • Loss of consciousness.

Responding to an Allergic Reactions

Depending on the severity of an allergic reaction, there are various treatments to utilize when responding in an emergency. If an individual is experiencing itching or hives, over-the-counter or prescribed antihistamines may help reduce such symptoms. Individuals with food allergies are often prescribed an epinephrine autoinjector, also commonly known as an EpiPen, which may be used with a severe allergic reaction by the affected individual or by those who have been trained on their use. Severe cases also may require calling 911 and a trip to the emergency room.

Avoiding an Emergency Situation

It is important to keep in mind the severe allergic reactions that can occur when serving food in your church. In doing so, your church can adequately prepare for an allergic reaction emergency and take the necessary steps to prevent them from happening. The first step is to make sure your staff and volunteers are educated on the subject. With the amount of food allergy cases increasing, it is crucial to develop a plan to handle any situation and keep your members safe.

Photo Credit: Sunciti _ Sundaram’s Images + Messages via Compfight cc

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

This site is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of any offer to buy any securities or investment advisory services which may be referenced herein. We may only offer services in states in which we have been properly registered or are exempt from registration. Therefore some of the services mentioned may not be available in your state, and if not, the information is not intended for you. ALMEA Insurance, Inc. is not a registered broker/dealer or investment advisory firm. Bill Wilson is licensed to offered securities through KMS Financial Services, Inc. ALMEA Insurance and KMS Financial Services are not affiliated and there is no common ownership or control. | Member FINRA / SIPC