Precautions for Managing Your Child’s Food Allergies at SchoolPublished on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 20:41
- Written by Megan Murray
by Megan Murray
Preparing to send a child to school with food allergies is a scary and sometimes overwhelming venture. The goal is to try to control your child’s environment as best as possible. In this article, we summarize key precautionary steps you can take to have influence over the school environment. It’s worth noting, that while reviewing other blogs on the subject, we’re struck that a majority leave out the explicit importance of adding medical ID jewelry to your child’s food allergy safety plan.
Here are some precautions you can take to minimize the chances of your child consuming foods that may cause an allergic reaction and the steps to take to ensure that your child gets proper care in the event of a reaction:
Develop and submit an “Emergency Allergy Action Plan”
1. Endorsed by the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, this plan outlines critical care, including allergic symptoms to watch for, that the school must follow in the event of an allergic reaction emergency
- To download the Emergency Allergy Action Plan go to: www.foodallergy.org/files/FAAP.pdf
- Set-up an appointment to meet with your child’s teachers, administrators, school nurses, aides and ideally cafeteria staff to review this plan at the start of the new school year.
- During this meeting, be sure to discuss how the school communicates your child’s food allergies to secondary school staff, such as bus drivers, substitute teachers, after-school sports coaches, etc.
- Many cafeteria menus are prepared months in advance, be sure to review the menu in this meeting.
2. Make sure the school has your child’s epinephrine auto-injector and any medications provided by your doctor
3. Don’t be shy about discussing your child’s food allergies with other parents. Once they understand the severity of your child’s allergies, they are more likely to become allies in helping to prevent your child’s exposure to dangerous foods via not packing those foods in their children’s lunch and educating their children about your child’s allergies.
4. Have “safe snacks” stocked and ready in your child’s classroom in the event that snacks are provided that your child is allergic to. This sway your child will have snacks they enjoy without feeling left out.
5. Your child should always wear medical ID jewelry in the form of a medical ID bracelet or necklace.
There are a lot of misconceptions about food allergies, particularly just how severe and dangerous they are. Wearing medical ID jewelry accomplishes two critical things:
- Can save your child’s life by alerting first responders (EMT) to the allergy so they administer fast and proper care at the moment emergency treatment is being given.
- Medical ID jewelry sends a clear message to school staff and other parents that your child’s food allergy is serious and not simply a mild reaction or irritation to certain foods.
Information to include on the medical ID tag should include name, allergy, medication (e.g., “Use Epi-Pen”) and emergency contact info.
If your child is initially resistant to wearing medical ID jewelry, remember that there are endless styles to choose from that are geared towards children’s likes and interests. At N-Style Medical ID, we strive to create fun and functional medical ID jewelry for children. Be sure to include your child in the process of choosing medial ID jewelry so that they ultimately “love” what they’re wearing.
Megan Murray is the Marketing Manager for N-Style ID. N-Style ID makes attractive medical alert jewelry for kids, teens, and adults. Since its founding, N-Style ID’s core vision is to make the lives of all those dealing with conditions requiring medical ID's less stressful by providing fun and fashionable medical jewelry. www.n-styleid.com
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