MKs aim to aid kids with severe allergies in schools

The allergenic components in food are often hidden and the children do not realize the allergens are in the food.

October 27, 2016 02:22
1 minute read.
A CLASSROOM awaits its pupils.

A CLASSROOM awaits its pupils.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

The Education Ministry issued regulations to prohibit bringing allergenic food in certain areas of educational institutions because they could cause anaphylactic shock to sensitive children.

It was revealed that only four schoolchildren in the country who have severe allergies are “attached” to assistants in school who ensure that they do not eat foods forbidden to them.

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The allergenic components are often hidden and the children do not realize the allergens are in the food.

Shas MK Ya’acov Margi, who chairs the Education Committee, said many resources have been allocated to the problem, but they are still not enough.

“We will try to reduce the fears of parents to a minimum and do the maximum to solve the problem,” he said. “Unfortunately, it needs a lot of cooperation.”

Children’s Rights Committee chairwoman MK Yifat Shasha-Biton added that assistants for the children were important but that she wasn’t sure that they exclusively would solve the problem.

“Perhaps we can prevent anything from happening to the children by training the whole school system to cope with the problem."

It was estimated that there are some 20,000 children with severe food allergies around the country. Today, children increasingly know not to bring peanuts and other allergenic foods to class in their lunch boxes so that their peers are not affected. Yet there are many others who are not informed.

Eva, the mother of an eight year old who is severely allergic to peanuts and other foods, said that only inhaling the smell of peanut snacks can put him into shock. “I don’t see his school principal accompanying him everywhere and protecting him,” she said.

She also charged that the Health Ministry committee that approves assistants for the children works very slowly even though it was a matter of life and death for many of them.

The mother of another third grader said she doesn’t go to school at all when the assistant is unavailable.

The two committee chairman agreed to convene a roundtable in a few weeks to discuss what changes are needed to find a solution to the problem.

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