One in 25 children under the age of 18 has a food allergy, and for the parents of those children, the fear their child will die from accidentally eating the wrong thing is overwhelming. It's a problem that plagues many parents in Colorado Springs.
Parents and schools are working together to make sure kids are just as safe when they are in the classroom as they would be at home..
Ian horton is a totally different kid now, after he got treatment for horrible allergies.
“His skin was swollenhis face was swollen, his eyes were puffy everywhere he was puffy,” said his mother, Anna Horton.
Ian has reactions to a variety of outdoor allergens and foods, but his mother is mostly concerned about the potentially life threatening allergy Ian has to peanuts, one of the allergies that is becoming more and more common amoung young kids.
“It's really common we see a lot of it and unfortunatly we are seeing more and more of it as the years go on,” said Dr. Eric Caplan with the Colorado Springs Allergy and Asthma Clinic.
Nicole Smith's son, Morgan, also has life threatening allergies.
“Oh its very scary, especially when they are young,” she said. “He has severe life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, fish, and shellfish.”
Smith became concerned when it was time to send him off to school, so she started a task force with District 20 to make it easier for parents.
“We really wanted to focus on education awareness and prevention,” she said.
So a group of parents, teachers, nurses, school officials and lunch staff meet throughout the school year to identify students with allergies, and to develop a plan of what do when the wrong food gets into the wrong hands.
“It takes a community its not just the principal, it has to be the whole community that understands what we are dealing with,” she said.
If you suspect your child may have allergies, Dr. Kaplan said the best thing to do is get them into a doctor to get them diagnosed, so that you know how to avoid and handle possible reactions.