Are you dreading it, or are you counting down the days?
Back to School Season is almost here, and if you have a school age child with allergies this is often an extra stressful time. Along with backpacks, pencils, and lunch boxes you have to worry about epi-pens, anaphylaxis, and food allergies. Below you will find some great tips to help navigate Back to School Season with children who have food allergies.
Helpful Back to Schools Tips for Parents of Children with Allergies
Create an Allergy Action Plan
Talk to your child about what to do if they experience an allergy attack, speak with his or her new teachers. Find out what the school’s lunch policy is concerning common allergic foods such as nuts, milk, eggs, soy, or any other food your child is allergic to.
Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) has developed a great emergency care plan. This printable document helps teachers and caregivers make important decisions on how to treat your child’s allergy attack when you aren’t around with detailed instructions. Print out plenty of copies and make sure everyone who may need a copy has one.
FARE Emergency Care Plan (English Version)
FARE Emergency Care Plan (Spanish Version)
Educate Your Child’s Classmates on the Dangers of Food Allergies
Educating your child’s peers about the dangers of food allergies is important. Trading a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for a cheese and crackers seems like no big deal in the lunch room, but could quickly escalate into a potentially life threatening situation for children with severe allergies. Ask your child’s school if they can involve classmates in an educational allergy presentation.
You may also consider speaking specifically to your child’s best school friends. Find out who your child eats lunch with every day and ask their parents to speak with them about the dangers of sharing food. If you are unsure how to begin FARE has a great handout.
Have Your Child Tested for Food Allergies Before School Starts
Food allergies usually develop during the first 6 years of a child’s life. However, that does not exclude the possibility of developing allergies at any time. If you suspect your child may have a food allergy, especially if you have a family history of allergies, we recommend making an appointment with an allergist. Your allergist will speak with you about your family medical history, symptoms, environment, medications and more to determine which tests to perform.
If you are searching for food allergy testing in Naples, Florida the caring, professional staff of CareOne HealthCare can determine if your child has food allergies, and determine the exact allergen. Education, Knowledge, and an Action Plan can ensure a safe school year for children with food allergies.