Food Allergy Information

Managing Food Allergies at School

Managing Food Allergies at School.

Now that your child has been diagnosed with a food allergy, what are the vital steps in the prevention and management of your child’s allergy? How do I ensure my child is safe from allergens when at school or day care? How do I as a parent help managing food allergies at school or child care? Just the thought of what might happen can be cause for anxiety. Rest assured that schools and day care centres have qualified and trained staff. They also have action plans in the event that an accidental exposure has occurred. These include prevention measures as well.

First things first, talk with your child’s doctor to create an action plan tailored to suit your child’s needs. This action plan will include vital information in regards to the emergency treatment(s) your child will need in the event of a reaction. This information will include: Medication required, a photo of your child, epinephrine pen (Epipen/Anapen), doses, and emergency contacts. This action plan, once created, will need to be presented to your child’s day care centre or school. This should be placed in a prominent position, along with medications and Epinephrine pen.

Secondly, approach the school or day care centre. Talk to them about your child’s food allergy and what their policy is. This includes prevention, education, management, and responses to emergencies. Staff are usually trained in first aid, and know exactly what to do in an emergency.

Thirdly, you can purchase a medical alert bracelet, highlighting your child’s food allergies. Allow your child to become adjusted to wearing the bracelet whenever they aren’t at home. This is so it becomes second nature to wear the bracelet.

While at Day Care/Preschool.

If your child is at a child care facility, ensure staff use disposable cleaning cloths prior to mealtimes. This can help prevent cross-contamination.

Ask your child’s teacher to give a few days’ notice for any occasion at school that may involve food, such as a classmates’ birthday. Also, encourage your child’s teacher to avoid using food as a reward.

Ask your child’s teacher to check art supplies for any food related ingredients. This includes supplies such as paints, which may contain Gluten, etc.

Most schools and accredited day care centres are well equipped and trained for anaphylaxis. Despite this, they may need extra information in regards to prevention and recognising allergens.