Happy 2016! A New Year brings a new opportunity to create change that will help improve the quality of our lives and the lives of others.
When making your resolutions this year, don’t forget to keep Food Allergy Awareness on the top of that list! Our children and community need our help to keep them safe and healthy. This year let’s resolve to continue spreading the word on food allergies.
Need some ideas for inspiration? No worries, I pulled some ways you can get involved and help:
In the Community
- Talk to your child’s school system. Find out what safeguards are in place for food allergy children within the school. Bring school staff information on State and National recommended guidelines for handling food allergies at school:
- CDC’s National Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools
- National and State School Guidelines
- If you need some inspiration on how to get the conversation started with your school of choice, Neocate has a lot of resources you can review:
- Helping Families Manage Food and Allergies at School
- School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act
- Additional School Resources from Neocate
- Organize, volunteer and/or help fund community programs that bring awareness to food allergies, such as a community walk/run or family fun day.
- Encourage and support local restaurants to educate their employees on food allergies, and participate in programs such as the SafeFARE program.
Within our families
- Help siblings and extended family members understand the seriousness of food allergies. Educate siblings on signs and symptoms of allergic reactions, and what to do if they notice their sibling is in trouble.
- Use tools such as FARE “Be a PAL (Protect A Life from Food Allergies)” program to help children take an active role in helping family members, and friends, with food allergies
- Teach family members the importance of not sharing their food.
- Make the time to have a direct conversation with family members about your child’s allergy and explain how important it is to take it seriously. Be prepared to help educate family members.
With our children
- Identify your child as someone who has a food allergy. When not in your care, make sure the caregiver is aware of your child’s allergy and consider using a form of medical identification, such as a Medical Alert Bracelet or something similar:
- Tell your child about their allergy. Help them understand they need to help protect themselves and take care of their body. Encourage them to tell people about their allergy.
- Teach your child how to read food labels.
- Let them know that you are there for them. Help your child cope with any fear and/or anxiety associated with their allergy.
As a parent/caregiver
- Educate yourself on your child’s allergy.
- Familiarize yourself with signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and anaphylaxis.
- Put together an emergency care plan.
- Join a community and seek advice from others in similar circumstances. Build a support system.
- Ask for help.
Now that you have read the list, how do you plan to get involved in 2016? If you have any other suggestions that were not listed below, share them for others to see. You never know who might come across and adopt your suggestion!
~ Rachel Miller
Our post today is a guest blog entry from Rachel Miller, Baby E’s mom. Read Rachel’s story.