This entry was posted on Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 and is filed under Blog by AENT Associates
Protecting Your Son or Daughter with Food Allergies During the School Year
For parents of children with food allergies, the beginning of a school year can be filled with anxiety. When you’re with your child you can ensure what they’re eating and around is safe, but what can you do when they’re at school and potentially exposed to allergens?
Make Their Lunches Yourself
As well intentioned as cafeteria staff at your child’s school may be, there’s always the risk for cross contamination or ingredients to which your child is allergic being included in what the school prepares.
Identify a handful of reliable, safe and easy to prepare lunch foods your child enjoys to make planning and preparation more convenient.
Stay Up-to-Date on Relevant Resources
There are several websites designed to help people and families affected by food allergies. Stay apprised of the latest news to ensure you’re always aware of potential threats and triggers.
FARE – https://www.foodallergy.org/
Kids with Food Allergies – https://kidswithfoodallergies.org/
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology – https://www.aaaai.org/
Compile Resources for the School and Teachers
Preparing an “allergy awareness” kit can help you enjoy peace of mind knowing your child’s school administration and teachers are aware of their allergies. Consider including:
- A list of emergency contacts
- Medications and instructions on their use
- Food allergy awareness resources such as posters for the classroom
Participating in your school’s parent-teacher organizations will let you influence the formulation of some school policies. PTA meetings are a good opportunity to lobby for regulations to protect your child from foods that may trigger an allergic reaction. Policies to consider include making the school a nut-free campus, prohibiting classmates from bringing homemade treats into class and advocating for allergy awareness rallies or events.
Send Safe Snacks
On holidays like Halloween or Valentine’s Day it can be easy for your child to feel left out due sitting around and watching their friends enjoy treats they aren’t allowed to eat. Send along safe snacks they enjoy so they don’t feel left out.
Prepare for After School Activities and Field Trips
Extracurricular activities and field trips are important for kids and their education, but they can also be especially dangerous for children with allergies, as the chaperone may not be as aware of your son or daughter’s condition as their teacher. Make sure to know who will be responsible for your child’s allergy kit and ensure they understand your child’s dietary guidelines and how to administer medications should the need arise.
Make Sure Your Son or Daughter Understand Their Own Allergy
The best line of defense, as a parent, is your child. Make sure they understand the severity of their allergy and the consequences of eating something that could cause an allergic reaction. Lay out the ground rules before they start school – no trading food with kids at lunch, don’t eat homemade baked goods, read food labels and wash hands often.
Also make sure they are wearing a medical identification bracelet or another piece of fun jewelry that includes pertinent information regarding their allergy.
Make This a Safe and Fun School Year with the Help of Allergy & ENT Associates
Allergy & ENT Associates understands the unique struggles of families who have to deal with food allergies. Our health care professionals have all kinds of great, helpful tips to assist your family in developing strategies to keep your son or daughter safe at school. Schedule an appointment at one of our many Houston area locations by calling (713) MY-SINUS.