Summer is winding down and it’s time to start helping your children prepare for their return to school. Your school might have sent school supply lists, teacher assignments, and schedule of back to school nights. Now, it’s time to create your own food allergy checklist.
Whether your child is returning to school or attending for the first time, here are some things to help make sure they have a successful, fun and safe learning experience.
Within the school:
- If you don’t know already, find out if your school district has rules regarding food allergens in school. For example, is your school a “peanut-free” school?
- Does your school have its own rules regarding food allergens?
- Is there a designated “safe” table in the cafeteria for families who chose to use it?
- Is food allowed in any classroom parties, or birthday celebrations?
With the classroom and health room:
- Are staff members/teachers familiar with food allergies?
- Do teachers know what an allergic reaction may look like?
- Is the school nurse familiar with how to use an epinephrine auto-injector? (Bonus: EpiPens at School Tips & How many EpiPens should your child have on hand?)
- Are you up to date and current with your child’s medical and emergency contact information?
- Have you written an emergency plan for school staff in the event there is an accidental exposure?
With your child:
- Is your child familiar with his/her signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction?
- Does your child know to alert an adult in the event of an emergency?
- Does your child wear a medical alert bracelet? Or do you have a food allergy action plan?
- Have you discussed the importance of NOT sharing foods with friends?
- Does your child know how to deal with bullying when it comes to food allergies?
The school years can be some of the most fun and memorable experiences we have; following some of these back to school tips can help ensure your child’s first day back is no exception!
BONUS: If your little one is going to school (or preschool) for the first time this year, make sure to read over 11 Tips for the First Day of School with Food Allergies we shared previously.