Anaphylaxis Canada launches innovative online course to help educators be Allergy Aware and keep students safe at school

Bilingual resource to be made available to every school across the country

TORONTO, Sept. 17, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, Anaphylaxis Canada is launching a new resource for educators to help keep students at risk of anaphylaxis safe at school.  Anaphylaxis in Schools: What Educators Need to Know is the first in a series of three bilingual courses, developed in collaboration with Leap Learning Technologies Inc. and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.  French review was provided by the Association of Allergists and Immunologists of Quebec. Additional support for research and evaluation was provided by AllerGen NCE (Allergy, Genes and Environment Network) Inc. and McMaster University. The course, which can be accessed at www.allergyaware.ca, focuses on the prevention, recognition and management of anaphylaxis.

The management of anaphylaxis is a fact of life in schools across the country. Food allergy is the leading cause of potentially life-threatening anaphylactic reactions among children, and has become a growing public health concern in Canada. There is no way of predicting how severe an allergic reaction may be, and to date there is no known cure for food allergy, making avoidance of allergens the only means of staying safe. Avoidance is challenging considering how many times food is eaten at snack and lunch times during a typical school day. In addition to food, educators must be aware of risks regarding medication as well as insect stings, which become especially important during the warmer months.

"Having a clear understanding of the facts about anaphylaxis will help educators reduce the risk of allergic reactions in schools and know how to respond in the event of an emergency," said Laurie Harada, Executive Director of Anaphylaxis Canada. "We appreciate educators are tasked with many responsibilities so we wanted to create an easy-to-use resource that was readily available, informative and engaging. Thanks to the support of several ministries of education and health, private donors, and premier founding sponsor, TELUS, Anaphylaxis Canada is able to make this interactive learning course available for free to hundreds of thousands of staff employed by more than 15,000 public schools and thousands of private schools across the country."

Anaphylaxis in Schools uses best practices in instructional design and multimedia learning, incorporating graphics, audio narration, practice scenarios, and step-by-step visual guides to provide an engaging learning experience for teachers, administrators and other school staff. Users can review material, complete a short quiz and print a personalized certificate of completion.

As the lead corporate sponsor, TELUS is committed to helping Anaphylaxis Canada create safer environments for Canadians with severe allergies. 

"Anaphylaxis in Schools fills a critical knowledge gap in the health and safety of Canadians living with severe and life-threatening allergies," said Joe Natale, President and CEO, TELUS. "We are very pleased to be partnering with Anaphylaxis Canada to connect educators across the country to this accessible and engaging platform in order to help protect children in our schools."

Ongoing anaphylaxis education can help improve the quality of life for at-risk children and their families; reduce the number of emergency department visits; and increase the number of Canadians who can help prevent and respond to emergency situations.

"As the father of two school-aged kids with food allergy, I think the course will bring peace of mind to many parents whose children are at risk of anaphylaxis. It is a great educational tool that can help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction and ultimately save lives," said Bruce Croxon, Anaphylaxis Canada ambassador and former resident dragon of CBC's Dragons' Den.

"Anaphylaxis Canada is very excited to launch this initiative. We also plan to release courses in 2015 for members of the community so parents, caregivers, child care centre staff and the general public can also increase their awareness and help reduce the risk of anaphylactic reactions," said Harada.

About Anaphylaxis Canada
Anaphylaxis Canada is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping those at risk for anaphylaxis and those who care for them. The organization is committed to creating a safer world for people with potentially life-threatening allergies through education, advocacy, and research. The organization's approach to reducing the risk of anaphylactic reactions in both children and adults is focused on self-management, community engagement, understanding, and respect. For more information, please visit www.anaphylaxis.ca.

About TELUS
TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is Canada's fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.7 billion of annual revenue and 13.4 million customer connections, including 7.9 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.4 million Internet subscribers and 865,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada's largest healthcare IT provider.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed more than $350 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 5.4 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

SOURCE: Anaphylaxis Canada

For further information: Christopher Holcroft, Empower Consulting, for Anaphylaxis Canada, 416-996-0767, Christopherholcroft@hotmail.ca

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http://www.anaphylaxis.ca

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