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Hanover, MA: Schools see 43% increase in "neurological conditions" in one year

Oct 18, 2018, Marshfield (MA) Local Wicked Handover [MA]: Hanover schools help create allergy-safe zone The number of students with medical conditions in Hanover schools has mostly plateaued over the past two years with the only major change coming from students with neurological conditions, which increased from 40 in the previous school year to 57 in the current school year. The number of students with food allergies, latex allergies, cardiac issues, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, seizure disorders and asthma are nearly the same, according to Hanover Schools Coordinator of Health Services Patricia Smith. “We’ve been dealing with life-threatening food allergies for over a decade now in very large numbers,” said Smith. … The school does not purchase any food that includes peanuts or tree nuts and there are peanut-free tables in the lunch room. Smith said students are quite aware of their fellow students’ allergies, and nurses go into classrooms to teach students tips such as not sharing food. Training for all school staff members began a year-and-a-half ago that addresses the “social and emotional piece” of food allergies, according to Smith. “With such a large number of kids being affected by it, I think that the kids really just grew up knowing about it and being very aware,” she said. … Middle school nurse Joelle Casey developed a program where students with food allergies are scheduled to come into her office four times each year to learn about food allergies and anaphylactic shock. … By the time they finish the eighth grade, they are at the point where they can carry their own EpiPen and read their own food labels…. School nurses had 46,987 individual events with students in the previous school year with 2,301 students seeing the nurse at least once during the year and 92.5 percent of students returned to class after seeing the nurse. …

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