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August 16, 2005

Back to school with food allergies

Hi. I can’t believe it is already time to start thinking about back-to-school things. If you’re a parent of a child with food allergies, you know I don’t mean thinking “do they have enough clothes for the fall” or “I wonder if they’ll make new friends this year.” It’s that feeling of needing to educate all those adults responsible for your child’s safety when it comes to food allergy.

I must say, so far, this is my easiest school year yet. Over the years, I have developed a pretty good system. Since my oldest daughter is going into 4th grade, I am used to the elementary school and the staff at the school is used to me. I am reasonable in my requests, thinking of both my child’s safety and the fact that the school also has hundreds of other kids (and their parents) to deal with.

Here is my approach (in a very small nutshell). I first established a relationship with the school’s nurse and principal. I am levelheaded and direct in my approach. Since my child has nut and peanut allergies, Epi-pens need to be readily accessible. My daughter eats snacks and treats only out of her snack bag which is filled with favorites from home and kept in her classroom. We request no nut snacks or projects be brought into her classroom. All lunch staff (along with nurses, aides, teachers, office staff, etc.) are trained in the emergency use of the Epi-pen. There is a flyer hanging in multiple locations with my daughter’s picture, description of her allergy and action to be taken in case of an emergency. Things have gone well in the past. I don’t have time for all the details now. I’ve had so much positive feedback that I want to share it with everyone and anyone who could benefit. I’ll be sharing more details in the near future!

Posted by Ann Marie at August 16, 2005 9:02 AM