Back to School Preparation
Most students can enjoy school lunches, snacks, and birthday treats without a second thought. However, as a parent of a child with food allergies, you know how challenging and dangerous it can be to avoid potential food allergy reactions, especially since you can’t be there to double check everything your child eats or touches.
The new school year is right around the corner, and you want your child to enter school feeling confidence and joyful, not nervous and fearful. With the right preparation, you can help your child stay safe from food allergies and embrace all that the new school year has to offer.
Communicate With Your Child’s Teacher, School Nurse, and Administrators
Communication is key to ensuring your child is not exposed to the foods that trigger her allergic reactions. Begin by requesting a meeting with your child’s teacher, school nurse, and main administrators. Be sure to cover the following important topics during your meeting:
- Learn about the school’s food allergy management policies
- Provide written and verbal explanations of your child’s food allergy, signs of a reaction, and best ways to treat a reaction
- Work with the school to create a comprehensive Food Allergy Management and Prevention Plan.
- Confirm where your child’s emergency medications will be stored and retrieved in an emergency situation
Visit Your Child’s Allergist
It’s also important to schedule an appointment with your child’s allergist before the new school year begins. A pediatric allergy and immunology specialist will be able to evaluate your child’s needs and recommend the required prescriptions for emergency medications like an EpiPen. Also be sure to have your child’s doctor sign all related school forms.
Help Your Child Develop Skills to Manage Food Allergies
The older your child gets, the better she can manage her food allergies using specific strategies. Work to help your child adopt the following skills that minimize the potential for food allergy reactions:
- Read food labels carefully and avoid unknown foods that don’t have labels
- Don’t accept food shared by others
- Always wash hands before and after eating
- How to use an EpiPen in an emergency situation
- How to identify signs of an allergic reaction
- How to tell a teacher or other adult that an allergic reaction is happening
For more help preparing your child for a successful school year, call (813) 670-7062 to make an appointment at Kratz Allergy in Odessa or Port Richey, Florida.