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Health Information For Parents
Young kids with food allergies can stay safe at school, but it takes organization, preparation, and education.
Here are tips on keeping your child safe during the school year — and all year long:
Now’s the time to make a summertime appointment to see your child’s
. And set up a meeting for the end of the summer with the school principal, the school nurse, and your child’s teacher.
At the allergist appointment, discuss and update the food allergy emergency plan. Make copies available for the school. Be sure the plan has a current photo of your child and updated contact information for you and the doctor. Check your medicine supply to make sure you have what you need to send to school. Ask the allergist for any prescriptions you need.
Consider ordering a medical alert bracelet, which can take several weeks to arrive. It will give your child’s name and type of allergies. You might also include that epinephrine should be given in case of a severe reaction and list your emergency contact number.
At the school meeting, remind everyone that they should give epinephrine immediately if there is a severe allergic reaction, then call 911. Make plans for different scenarios, such as snack time, lunchtime, classroom parties, and field trips. Learn where the school nurse’s office is and how far that is from the classrooms, lunchroom, and recess areas.
Most school-age kids can sit at the regular lunch table with proper safety precautions in place. If there’s an allergen-aware table, it should include friends who are eating safe meals.
Ask the school to:
Along with the pencils and backpacks, you’ll want to put together your child’s medical supplies. Double check that you have all of your child’s medicines ready to go. If possible, give the school medications that won’t expire until after the school year ends. If that’s not possible, make a note on the calendar now so you’ll be alerted before they expire and can replace them.
If your child won’t have the epinephrine auto-injector on hand at all times, be sure that it’s available in the nurse’s office, the classroom, and anywhere else your child might spend time, such as an after-school room. Label the epinephrine container with your child’s name, photo, and your emergency contact information. Also, give your child’s teacher a supply of hand wipes and safe food options for your child to use.
You might want to write a letter to the other parents in your child’s class. Explain which allergies your child has, what this means, and how serious a reaction could be. Explain the idea of cross-contamination, and clearly state how they can help keep your child safe. Be reasonable (don’t ask for things that aren’t necessary) and be honest (don’t make things seem more serious than they are). If you can, offer to help with birthday celebrations so treats will be safe for your child.
Consider including a handout that explains how others can help those with food allergies. The Food Allergy Research and Education network (FARE) offers one.
No matter how cooperative your child’s school and teacher are, the most important preparation you can do is with your son or daughter. With time and education, your child will be able to take more responsibility for his or her safety.
Shellfish allergies can be serious – and shellfish can appear in some surprising foods and products. Read about shellfish allergy and what to do when a reaction is severe.
Hives are red, itchy blotches that can appear because of an allergic reaction. Find out more in this article for kids.
Peanuts are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, and they often find their way into things you wouldn’t imagine. Learn the facts on living with a nut or peanut allergy.
Taking precautions and carrying meds are just part of normal life for someone who has a food allergy. Here are some tips on how to make travel also feel perfectly routine.
Hives cause raised red bumps or welts on the skin. They’re pretty common and usually not serious. Find out what to do about hives in this article for teens.
Milk is in all kinds of foods, even things like baked goods. So what should a person who’s allergic to milk do?
Quick action is essential during a serious allergic reaction. It helps to remind yourself of action steps so they become second nature if there’s an emergency. Here’s what to do.
A person with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can seem scary, but the good news is it can be treated.
Doctors are diagnosing more and more people with food allergies. Knowing what to expect and how to deal with food allergies can make a big difference in preventing serious illness.
Struggling with strawberries? Petrified of peanuts? Sorry you ate shellfish? Maybe you have a food allergy. Find out more in this article for kids.
With food allergies, preventing a reaction means avoiding that food entirely. But sometimes allergens can be hidden in places you don’t expect. Here are tips on living with a food allergy.
Living with an egg allergy means you have to be aware of what you’re eating and read food labels carefully. Here are some tips for teens who have an egg allergy.
A growing number of kids are allergic to nuts and peanuts. Find out more about this problem and how allergic kids can stay healthy.
Doctors use several different types of allergy tests, depending on what a person may be allergic to. Find out what to expect from allergy tests.
Babies sometimes have an allergic reaction to eggs. If that happens, they can’t eat eggs for a while. But the good news is that most kids outgrow this allergy by age 5.
Find more than 30 articles in English and Spanish about all aspects of food allergies in children.
Although most allergic reactions aren’t serious, severe reactions can be life-threatening and can require immediate medical attention.
Food allergies can cause serious and even deadly reactions in kids, so it’s important to know how to feed a child with food allergies and to prevent reactions.
Being prepared for an allergy emergency will help you, your child, and other caregivers respond in the event of a serious reaction.
Kids with severe allergies can be at risk for a sudden, serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. The good news is that when treated properly, anaphylaxis can be managed.
Food labels can help you spot allergens your child must avoid. Find out more.
Many kids battle allergies year-round, and some can’t control their symptoms with medications. For them, allergy shots (or allergen immunotherapy) can help.
Fish allergy can cause a serious reaction. Find out how to keep kids safe.
Soy is found in many foods and it’s a common food allegy. Find out how to help kids with an allergy stay safe.
Wheat allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out how to help kids with an allergy stay safe.
Shellfish allergy can cause serious reactions. Find out common symptoms of allergic reactions and how to respond.
If your child is allergic to nuts or peanuts, it’s essential to learn what foods might contain them and how to avoid them.
Helping your child manage an egg allergy means reading food labels carefully, being aware of what he or she eats, and carrying the right medicines in case of an allergic reaction.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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