Dealing With Food Allergy in School
Parents of kids with certain food allergies face the same dilemma often. Don’t worry moms and dads, your kids can go to school and eat there safely. All you need is proper education, organization, and preparation for this to work.
Tips on making sure your child is safe all through the school year.
Before summer arrives, make sure to visit your child’s allergy specialist. Check with him on any update about your kid’s allergy and let him list down the do’s and dont’s so you can discuss these with the school officials. Make sure the emergency plan is well-drafted and that it has attached photo of your child, just to make sure. Make sure you have the medicines needed in case of emergency and send them to the school, along with the detailed prescription. Discuss with the teacher and school nurse, that in case of a severe reaction, epinephrine must be administered as soon as possible, then call 911 for help.
Don’t forget to ask about the following:
- The area where food is kept
- The area where the child will eat
- The person designated to clean the tables.
- The person supervising the kids during mealtimes.
- The person responsible for proper hygiene such as hand washing.
- Where the medications will be stored and who will be giving it, in case of an allergic reaction.
Ask the school administration and teachers to:
- Teach the staff to determine allergic reactions and how kids describe them. Some kids describe a reaction as “tongue feels hot”, “itchy mouth or tongue”, “lips feel tight”, etc.
- Not encourage food sharing between children.
- Encourage the kids to wash hands properly before and after meals. Hand sanitizers do not kill allergens.
- Wipe down the tables using disinfecting wipes instead of a sponge. Using a sponge repeatedly can spread allergens.
- Ask the teacher to inform you about any event that involves food, such as birthday parties and bake fairs, several days before the set date.