But if your child suffers from food allergies, it can also be a bit stressful. After all, it’s easier to control your environment at home, and navigating a new classroom or school situation can be challenging. But keeping your child safe when they head back to the classroom will be a lot easier if you take some precautionary steps and follow these helpful hints.
Fill out any necessary paperwork. Check to see what documentation your school requires, and make sure the nurse’s office has a copy of any forms you complete. Keep in mind that some schools require a special form that must be filled out by your child’s doctor. Make sure you provide adequate emergency contact information, and understand emergency protocols.
Review medications and guidelines. Make sure your child has the proper medication with them at all times, and review the process for taking the medication. Find out how your school handles emergency medications and treatments, such as inhalers and epinephrine auto-injectors. If the school stores these supplies, make sure you know how they are accessed, and who will be administering them. Check expiration dates on all medications, and note when they will need to be replaced.
Meet with the teacher. It’s critical that your child’s teacher is aware of any allergies – and what could trigger an allergic attack. Since the teacher will likely be the first to respond to any situation, help them understand the signs they should look for if an allergic attack if suspected, and the immediate steps they need to take to get your child immediate care.
Empower and educate your child. Every year your child can take more responsibility for monitoring their environment and keeping allergic triggers at bay. Take time to review their allergies with them, and make sure they understand all of the steps they can take to keep themselves safe. If appropriate, review medication and treatment protocols with them.
Consider situations outside of the classroom. If your child takes the bus, participates in sports, or is involved in any after school activities, remember to include those supervising adults in your awareness efforts and treatment plans. Don’t rely on the school to communicate for you – take control and ensure your child’s safety.
For more ideas on how to manage food allergies and keep your child safe outside of your home, visit the Food Allergy Research & Education site.
This article first appeared in the September 2018 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.