01. tbl. 104. árg. 2018

Protocols Related to Food Allergies and Intolerances in Preschools in Reykjavik, Iceland

Verkferlar í tengslum við fæðuofnæmi og fæðuóþol í leikskólum Reykjavíkurborgar

Introduction: The aim of the study was to explore prevalence of food allergies and intolerances among children in preschools in Reykjavik, Iceland. Also, to investigate how well preschools maintain a safe environment for children with food allergies.

Materials and methods: In 2014, a questionnaire designed specifically for this study, was sent to 65 preschools. Forty-nine participated (75%) representing a total of 4225 children. Prevalence of food allergy and intolerance was determined based on medical certificates from physi­cians delivered to the preschools. Descriptive statistics were used to assess whether there were protocols related to food allergy, and if there was a difference between schools based on staff‘s education and number of children.

Results: The prevalence of documented food allergies/intolerances in children aged 2-6 years was 5%, 1% had severe allergy and 1% had multiple food allergies. Lactose intolerance was most frequent (2%), then milk allergy (2%) and egg allergy (1%). Only 41% preschools had a protocol that was activated if food with an allergen was accidentally given. Moreover, only 55% of preschools with children with severe ­allergy reported all of their staff to have knowledge of symptoms related to anaphylaxis and only 64% were trained to respond to an anaphylactic shock. The education of preschool principals, kitchen employees and number of children in preschool were not related to having an active protocol at site.

Conclusion: Prevalence of food allergy and intolerance was 5% in preschools in Reykjavik. Strategy for an active protocol related to food allergy was lacking in 59% of pre-schools.

Table I . Information on food allergy and intolerance in preschools in Reykjavik in 2014.

Table II . Answers on whether preschools have an active protocol if a child gets an allergen, and whether employees have the knowledge and training to an anaphylaxis.

Table III . Active protocol site by preschool staff members' level of education.

Table IV . knowledge and traning in the event of anaphylaxis in preschool staff members'  level of education.

Table V . Active protocol at if a child gets an allergen and employees knowledge and training in the event ofanaphylaxis by number of children and employees in a preschool.

Table VI . Comparison of preschools with or without a child with anaphylaxis and whether all employees have the knowledge and training in the event of an anaphylactic shock and whether all preschool's employees know the symthoms of an anaphylactic shock.

Figure I . Frequency of food items causing prevalence of food allergies and food intolerance in preschool children 2-6 years of age in Reykjavik, Iceland, sommer / fall 2014.

Figure II . Preschools with one or more children with food allergies and/or intolerance.

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