Kids going back to school entails so many contingencies, especially this year. Of utmost importance to some parents is being sure your food allergic child will be safe. You want to know that school will be a safe environment and everyone is aware. We have compiled some back to school tips for food allergic children.
Before School Starts
Plan a meeting with administrators, the school nurse and your child’s teacher or teachers. Invite your child’s allergist if possible. Come prepared with all the info they will need in the event of an allergic emergency.
Provide an emergency food allergy plan and make multiple copies for all, with extras.
Attach your child’s photo to the file with updated contact information for you and the doctor.
Remind everyone that hand sanitizers do not kill allergens. Everyone including kids should wash their hands with soap and water.
Educate everyone about the use of epinephrine, like when and how to use it. They should call 911 in the event of a severe reaction.
Prepare All Needed Forms
Medication authorization forms will dictate who can administer meds. It could include your child, the school nurse, their teacher. It will also state whether your child can carry his or her meds. You will need this form even if the meds will be stored and administered by the school.
A Special Dietary Meals Accommodation form is needed if your child’s meals will be prepared by the school.
An Emergency Action Plan form or EAP stipulates what caregivers should do in the event of an emergency.
Visit Cobb Pediatrics
You need signatures on all of the above three forms before school starts, and you should acquire any new prescriptions needed.
Schedule Special Time With A School Nurse or Administrator
Find out how often and when the school nurse will be in the building. If the nurse is only part time, find out who will handle meds and possible situations. In addition, find out where your child’s meds will be kept and will it be locked.
Will the school educate students about food allergies?
Meet With The School Services Director
Find out how tables are cleaned before and after lunch, as they should be cleaned with disinfecting wipes rather than sponges. Will your child be eating at a specific table each day?
In addition, be sure they have a copy of the Special Dietary Meals Accommodation form.
Learn About New Policies And COVID-19
Find out about sending your food allergic child to school during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some positives include:
- There will be even more handwashing.
- Social distancing even during lunch time will help prevent food sharing and cross contact.
- Increased cleaning of surfaces will help prevent the spread of food particles.
The Best Tip
Having your child learn everything about their allergy is the best tip for keeping them safe at school. Go over with your child which foods to avoid. Teach them to wash their hands before and after eating, and after playing outside. Remind them never to take food from anyone. Review with them the signs of an allergic reaction, and make sure they know to alert someone as soon as possible if they don’t feel well.
You and your child are the best advocates for their safety.
Contact Cobb Pediatrics at (770) 425-5331 for questions or concerns before starting the new school year.