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Anaphylaxis can be triggered with little to no warning, and life-threatening allergic emergencies happen in school each year. Avoidance of allergens is the best strategy to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis. However, despite everyone's efforts, allergens are not always obvious and accidental exposure may still happen. Further, trigger avoidance only works if you know you have allergies in the first place. First-time reactions at school do happen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 25% of reported school anaphylaxis cases, there was no previous diagnosis of a food allergy.
That is why everyone in the school community – teachers, students, nurses and administrators – should help those at risk avoid their allergic triggers, know the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, be ready to administer epinephrine and seek immediate medical care if a life-threatening allergic reaction occurs.