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NORTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) -
It's more common than it used to be.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of children suffering
from food allergies is up 20 percent since 1997. That's one out of every 25.
A typical school lunch room has
students lining up and grabbing some milk. But according to the CDC, that's
where 18 percent of children with food allergies will have a reaction, from
accidentally eating something they can't have or have been in contact with
something their allergic to.
"You want to do what's best for your
children and you want to prevent this if you possibly can," Marshfield Clinic
Allergist Dr. Marshall Cusic said.
Some doctors say prevention is key.
That's exactly what health aids at Stratford Elementary School are trying to
"We do have quite a few that have
allergies to milk products, so we do offer a lactose milk that they can have as
a substitute," Stratford Elementary School Health Aid Kay Leick said.
According to the CDC, milk is one of
the eight most common foods children are allergic to. The others are eggs,
peanuts, tree nuts like cashews and walnuts, fish, shellfish, soybeans and
"We're aware of it, we know what the
proper care is because sometimes it's as simple as giving a pill afterwards.
Other times we may have to do an EpiPen," Leick said.
"We have ways of managing and helping
but there's no cure. Part of the management is you stay away from this food,"
School leaders and doctors agree.
Parents and teachers should be working together to prevent reactions.
"That way we're prepared for it and we know how to handle the situation," Leick
Some doctors say many allergies can go
away as we get older.
"From a medical standpoint, my
objective would be to allow people to treat themselves to live as normal life
as they can," Cusic said.
That can be done with a big help from
those at school.
Newsline 9 called around to see what
other local schools were doing for students with allergies. The Wausau School
District says they have several peanut-free tables in cafeterias. Others, like
Marshfield Elementary Schools, say they don't serve peanuts at all.
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