Teenagers are the most at risk group for anaphylaxis for several reasons including social changes, peer pressure and an increased incidence of risk-taking. Another large factor that contributes to this is the transition from elementary school to a much larger high school environment, which brings with it many new friends, and classmates who aren’t aware of an individual’s allergies.
Anaphylaxis Canada aims to target this group with potentially life saving information in a fun and engaging way. We are introducing the Allergy Awareness Challenge, a program that high schools can adopt to raise awareness about food allergies to all students. The program involves three days of games and activities outside of class time including a Food Allergy Spelling Bee, Food Allergy Jeopardy, and an Adopt an Allergy for a day challenge.
With this program, Anaphylaxis Canada hopes to not only further educate teens living with allergies, but also their friends and classmates. Kyle Dine, project coordinator, thinks this program will really make a difference for allergic teens. “Research has shown that teens are more likely to be compliant in carrying their own epinephrine auto-injector or asking about ingredients at a restaurant when their friends support and understand their allergies. The goal of this program is to build peer support that will aid allergic students in managing their own condition.” says Dine.
As food allergies are an increasingly important issue in high schools, Anaphylaxis Canada wanted to provide a resource that supports schools in their efforts to raise awareness amongst its student body. The program can also be used for camps, support groups, and other community organizations with an interest in educating teens about anaphylaxis.
Schools and students can learn more about the program and sign up at www.allergychallenge.ca.
Anaphylaxis Canada is thankful to TD Securities and the Sean Delaney Memorial Golf Classic for funding this initiative.