Primary School Teachers' Knowledge and Attitudes About Food Allergy

Ayşe Bağçıoğlu
Ayhan Söğüt
Ömer Kılıç
Nazım Ercüment Beyhun
Atilla Çayır
Behzat Özkan


Objective: Every year, one in 25 children experiences a food allergy attack which mostly occur in school age children in schools. In this study, we aimed to investigate primary school teachers’ knowledge and attitudes about food allergy.

Materials and Methods: Primary school teachers in central Erzurum completed a self-administered questionnaire with a 27 item.

Results: A total of 191 teachers from 16 elementary schools were questioned. Median number of students was 4803, and number of students with food allergy according to the teachers was 13 (0.3%). Almost one third of them were able to define mild and severe symptoms of food allergy, and 35.1% of them were aware of that food allergy could be life threatening. The teachers’ responses on what would be their initial reaction in the event of an food allergic reaction were: “he/she didn’t know what to do in 70.3%, call his/her family in 7.3%, would make her regurgigate in 6.3%, would call the emergency service in 4.2%, notify the school nurse in 3.1%, would give food like milk against poisoning in 2.6%, would give anti-allergic drug in 1 person”. Only 5.8% of teachers knew the presence of medical drugs at school, and 6.1% of them reported that the medication was applied by nurses in schools. Most of them thought that the lunch given at school might not be safe for food allergic children, and 85.9% of them complaint about inadequate information from parents of food allergic students. The ratio of awareness of epinephrine auto-injector was 8.4%.

Conclusion: Primary school teachers’ knowledge about food allergy was inadequate, and the equipment for an intervention of food allergy attack was insufficient at schools. These results show the need for a national food allergy management plan that will be useful to reduce risk of allergic attacks as well as to educate teachers.


Food allergy, school, teacher
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