Food Allergy Involved in Death of Virginia Girl at School
A food allergy is to blame in the death of 7-year-old Ammaria Johnson, who passed away Monday after breaking out in hives and complaining of difficulty breathing at recess. According to CNN, Johnson had a peanut allergy and was likely exposed sometime at school.
The tragedy has raised questions of school preparedness in dealing with severe allergies in children. Although school authorities alerted paramedics, some are saying that public school employees ought to taught how to recognize and treat food allergies.
“It’s very straightforward. There’s no magic to this,” Maria Acebal of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network told CNN. “It’s just proper education, how to recognize it, and how to treat it...When consequences can be life-threatening, then you’ve got to have schools prepared for an allergic reaction.”
While Johnson’s death remains under investigation, a spokesman for the Chesterfield County school district defended the school’s actions. Shawn Smith told reporters that administrators have been trained to treat students with allergies and that parents are required to send details of student allergies, along with any prescribed medication and a form authorizing school officials to administer it if necessary.
“When any or all of the resources are not provided, the public health nurse makes contact with the family in an effort to obtain the necessary medication,” Smith explained.
Eight percent of American children have a food allergy, Acebal said.