Local school makes effort to go peanut-free

LAKEVILLE Millions of Americans have food allergies, many of them children. Reactions to food can be deadly, which is why people use this week- Food Allergy Awareness Week- to recognize potentially life-threatening situations.

Some of the most common foods that cause reactions are milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Reactions range from mild to anaphylaxis, which is severe and potentially deadly. Every three minutes, another person is rushed to the emergency room because of a reaction.

Some 25% of children have their first allergic reaction at school, without even knowing they are allergic to something. That's why more schools are making an effort to keep kids safe. In 2013, President Obama signed the "School Access to Epinephrine Act" into law, allowing schools to stock EpiPens without prescriptions, and providing legal coverage to staff members who administer it in an emergency.

Schools in Indiana still have the choice whether or not to keep EpiPens on hand. But some are taking big steps to keep kids safe. LaVille Elementary school in Lakeville has ordered the EpiPens, and they have gone peanut butter free. Certain classrooms are also peanut-free, and the lunchroom includes a separate "peanut free" table, that's cleaned with special products.

If you are looking for answers to questions about food allergies, there is a local support group that hosts events. For more information about the Michiana Food Allergy Support group, click here.

One of the upcoming events is a Peanut-Free baseball game at Four Winds Field at the Cove. The game is Sunday, May 18, at 2:05 p.m. The tickets are $17. To reserve your seat in the peanut-free suite, call the box office at (574) 235-9988.

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