Having trouble understanding what food your child could take to school? As a child care staff, not sure how to prevent life-threatening allergy attacks? Unsure what the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction or asthma attack are? As a parent/caregiver or staff, do you know what to do during an anaphylactic reaction and how quickly to respond?
Not being able to answer all of these questions is a serious issue as many people lack awareness of how deadly food allergies can be, especially if it is not responded to immediately. 700, 000 Canadians have anaphylactic reactions from food or insect allergies. Many schools have taken the precaution and created stricter rules on what types of foods are allowed, to avoid any more serious reactions and deaths from occurring. Food Allergy Canada is an organization that has also taken the initiative to raise awareness about food allergies through online video trainings and interactive animations.
With not only allergies on the rise but the use of technology, Food Allergy Canada has created a free, online course called Allergy Aware Program. It includes what anaphylaxis is, ways to reduce it and emergency treatment. It is offered in English and French and is targeted towards schools, parents and childcare settings. It is interactive, uses engaging visuals, mobile-friendly and only takes approximately 30 minutes to complete each course.
The Allergy Aware Program is divided into three courses:
- Anaphylaxis in the Community: What Parents and Others Need to Know
- Anaphylaxis in Schools: What Educators Need to Know
- Anaphylaxis in Child Care Settings: What Staff/ Caregivers Need to Know
This online program is user-friendly, the information is easy to understand and a lot can be learnt from it, making it less of a hassle to complete. Each course consists of videos between 30 seconds – two minutes long, has scenario-related quizzes, school board policies, reduction strategies and our responsibility as a parent/guardian, individuals at risk and the school community. Additionally, this online training material is an effective method of learning as it has a step by step guideline using pictures on how to administer an epinephrine auto-injector. This is paired with a detailed video of what an epinephrine injector is, how to use it, and signs and symptoms to look out for before administering a second shot.
Healthcare online training serves as a useful resource, as it raises awareness on such a detrimental issue. By using animations and videos, it reaches out to a wider audience, makes it accessible to the community and assists as a learning tool for children.