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El Paso schools protecting more kids with food allergies
By Crystal Price
EL PASO, Texas - On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its first guidelines on how to better protect children with food allergies.
The new advice recommends schools know which children have allergies, have a plan to prevent exposure, train staff to handle and use epinephrine injectors, and make sure children bring foods on field trips that are allergen free.
According to the CDC, 1 in 20 children have food allergies. That is a 50 percent increase from 20 years ago.
The El Paso Independent School District has seen an increase in children with food allergies in the last year or two.
The school district has taken steps in recent years to better accommodate those with food allergies.
These steps include providing special food replacements and even creating a different menu altogether.
Six-year-old Arellano is a typical first-grader, except for when it comes to eating lunch at school.
"I'm allergic to bananas, milk and cheese,Anika said.
It was in the school lunchroom when she began to feel sick while drinking a carton of milk.
"We tried the milk out, my tummy started hurting, I couldnt have it, Anika said.
Mary Adauto, Anika's grandmother, thinks that schools have become more aware of food allergies in recent years.
"The school is real cooperative with my granddaughter," said Adauto. "They don't give her milk at lunch. They give her juice instead. You never know when they're going to hit."