Having a child with allergies can be a little difficult at times. You may make special dinners just for your child or have possibly changed your own diets to help keep your child from feeling excluded. Feeding your child at restaurants can be especially daunting depending on your child's food allergy, as you can't be quite sure that your child's food hasn't been touched by someone that has touched an item your child is allergic to. At least you are there to help your child in an emergency; however, when your child is at school without you, it can be a different story. You can keep your child safe while at school by following the helpful tips below.
Make Sure Your Child Understands His/Her Own Allergy
Your child should understand his/her allergy and should know ahead of time what foods he/she should avoid. You can make this a game with your child at the grocery store and point to items and ask him/her if that is a food to avoid or an approved food.
Be Your Child's Advocate
You need to be sure the school knows all about your child's allergy. This should not only include your child's teacher, but the administrative staff, lunch staff and principal as well. Be sure the school has all of your child's allergy information in writing, as well as medications and an epi-pen if needed. You should give updated information each year your child is enrolled in school.
Ask About School Policy
Ask about the school's allergy policy and procedure before enrolling your child in school. With allergies among children becoming more and more commonplace, there should be some sort of plan in place in case of an emergency, but ask to be sure. Some schools may not allow food sharing or swapping food items among children, so ask if this is a policy of theirs. Also ask if there are posted signs about allergies around the school or if books are read to the kids about allergies to help them better understand. Be sure to ask if the staff is trained in case of an emergency and if they know how to use an epi-pen.
Food allergies are becoming more and more prevalent; however, nobody is going to care for your child the way that you do. Be sure your child's school understands your child's allergies and that there is a plan in place in case of an emergency.
For more information on understanding your child's allergy, contact an allergy specialist like Alidina Laila MD.