Reading, writing and food allergies? Keeping your child safe at school
Parents of children who have food allergies have a special back-to-school concern—safety. It truly takes a village to make it work. You have to communicate and engage with many people to help your child cope with his or her food allergies.
Our Austin allergists recommend that parents of children with food allergies take three important steps.
You can download, print and share the guide “10 School Planning Tips When Your Child Has Food Allergies” by visiting: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/page/food-allergy-school-planning-tips-for-parents.aspx
- Inform. The first step is to let everyone who will be involved with your child during the school day know that he or she has allergies. This includes the principal, school nurse, coaches, cafeteria staff, transportation staff, other parents and your child’s classmates (if they are old enough to understand the condition).
- Educate. Explain what can happen to your child if he or she eats something that causes food allergies. Also, explain in detail the foods that will cause your child to have an allergic reaction. Talk to your child’s teacher about safe snacks, and consider sending a list of safe snacks and food allergy safety tips to the parents of your child’s classmates. In addition, educate your child about his or her food allergies. Our Austin allergists can help you by talking to your child about food labels, which foods to avoid and how to tell an adult if they are having a reaction. Older children can learn to administer epinephrine themselves.
- Stay involved. At the beginning of the school year, and whenever you feel it’s necessary throughout the year, meet with key personnel to discuss your child’s food allergies and allergy treatment plan. Talk to our Austin allergists about medical authorization forms and any other forms your school may need to implement your child’s allergy action plan. Volunteer to bring a safe snack for the class to share on birthdays and other special times.
If your child has food allergies, collaboration is the key to creating the safest environment possible at school. Our Austin allergists are here to help. Contact us.