School is back in session, and something a parent of an allergy child might be wondering is how to keep them safe at school. There are so many opportunities for the wrong substance to fall into their hands, so how do we prepare our children to know what to do if that happens? How do we prepare the teachers? We have some advice that will help.
There are so many ways to put your mind at ease. With food allergies, the first place to start is the kitchen. Work with the principal to make sure the staff is educated on the dangers of food allergies, keeping the environment clean from allergens, and have an emergency plan in place for your child. Request cafeteria menus to help with meal planning, and go over what is and is not safe to eat.
Work with teachers to ensure they are prepared, and suggest they dedicate some time in the classroom to discuss safe food practice with the students. Food allergies are very common, and no two allergies are the same. Symptoms of food allergies range from itching and hives to trouble breathing to anaphylaxis.
It is the teacher’s responsibility to be prepared to avoid emergency situations in the classroom. They are trained on how to limit exposure to allergens in their classroom, and schools have emergency response plans, but it is always a good idea to follow up. Encourage teachers to ensure snacks are not brought to recess. Request that non-food treats are brought into the classroom for celebrations. Letters can be sent home to parents notifying them of relevant food allergies, and giving them ideas for treats that can be shared if desired. Such are things like games, crafts, fun pencils and erasers, glow sticks, balls, stencils, etc. Leave an epinephrine pen, or other medication that your child will need in case of emergency with the teacher. Prepare information about your child’s allergies and how to respond in an emergency, and make sure the teacher hands this off to substitute teachers if needed. Be involved in field trips and know what your child might be exposed to. Ask your child productive questions to stay in the loop with what’s happening at school.
School should be a safe environment where students can focus on learning and growing their minds.
There are tons of resources to make learning about allergies really fun and accessible for children at home. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America offers a coloring and activity book that teaches about asthma and food allergies. With just a little Googling, you’ll discover that there are apps and cartoons and books and games and songs and rhymes. Be creative! Make personalized games like food label scavenger hunts or flashcards. Teach them how to identify ingredients in food. This prepares them how to not only stay safe at school, but it instills safe food practice for the rest of their lives.
Implement these things during playtime. Allow friends to join in the learning as well when they come over to play. Spread awareness to other parents, so they can be more mindful when sending things to school with their children.
As a parent you are your child’s full-time doctor, but you have Dr. Wendt as a resource. As a mother of seven, she is the expert on how to teach you and your child about their health. She can talk to you about how to apply these games and lessons to your child’s unique needs. Ask questions about implementing these safe practices at school and at home. Make an appoint to ensure you have the proper medication to keep at school and at home. Working together, attending school with food allergies doesn’t have to be stressful.
Dr. Wendt stays up to date with treatment plans and practices. In an upcoming post you can learn about the latest in food allergy treatment. Stay tuned!
Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons and Scottsdale Quarter, 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, and has convenient evening and weekend hours to accommodate your schedule. Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments as appropriate. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment and begin your allergy testing journey with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Learn more about Dr. Wendt and Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives at www.relieveallergyaz.com.