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Teachers Avoiding Food in the Classroom Due to Food Allergies

SPRINGFIELD, IL--(Marketwired - February 19, 2014) - A nationwide Horace Mann Educator Survey shows teachers are choosing to exclude food from the classroom to avoid issues with food allergies/intolerances. Nearly one-third of the teachers surveyed said they don't allow food in the classroom.

"Our teachers have eliminated food items in their classrooms due to food allergies. We have several students who are allergic to peanuts or are lactose intolerant. As a result, we have asked parents not to send in food items or candy for birthday celebrations or for other parties," said Doug Goss, principal of Wilcox Elementary School in Springfield, Ill. "We have even taken chocolate milk off the menu; it is now only served once a month as a treat for our students."

The October 2013 Horace Mann Educator Survey shows, on average, two students per class have some type of food allergy or intolerance. Eighty percent of teachers surveyed said they have more students with allergies/intolerances than they did just five years ago.

The top five food allergies encountered by respondents were:

  • Peanuts
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Gluten intolerance
  • Milk
  • Tree nut

When asked how their schools manage food allergens, teachers noted more education, inclusion and family outreach are needed. Sixty-five percent said they are very confident to confident they know the triggers for a reaction and how to prevent it. While 47 percent indicated they were only somewhat confident or not confident at all about administering first aid to a child having an allergic reaction. 

To see the complete data from the Horace Mann Educator Survey, go to horacemann.com

About the Horace Mann Advisory Panel

The Horace Mann Educator Advisory Panel has been in place since 2004 and consists of educators from across the country. Educators that sign up for the advisory panel are asked to complete 4 to 5 online surveys each year. Survey topics include a mix of educational-related topics and topics related to insurance and retirement. Currently, around 1,700 educators belong to the panel and are mostly public K-12 teachers. Less than 15% of the panel members are Horace Mann customers.

About Horace Mann

Horace Mann is the largest national multiline insurance company focusing on educators' financial needs. Horace Mann provides auto and homeowners insurance, retirement annuities, life insurance and other financial solutions. Founded by Educators for Educators® in 1945, the company is headquartered in Springfield, Ill. For more information about the company, visit www.horacemann.com

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