How to help your child’s food allergy in school. Tips to working with your child’s teachers and administrators in regards to food allergies / food sensitivities.
Having a child with life-threatening food allergies makes it difficult during the school year. There are precautions and procedures to follow to ensure safety.
I sat down with “America’s Allergist” Dr. Clifford Bassett and Allergic Girl Sloane Miller, LMSW to discuss tips for how to help your child’s food allergy in school.
Dr. Clifford Bassett – Sloane, as a premiere food allergy coach…what are some of the questions you get from the mothers, family members, or groups you’re involved with in terms of what we are really concentrating on tonight is preparedness, mitigating and reducing risk, educating both the families and the non-families of the school personnel and the like on best practices and how they give the kids situated in the school year so they can feel comfortable and really be on the same page?
Sloane Miller – My first prescription is always go back to a board certified allergist. If you suspect that you have a food allergy or you’ve already been diagnosed with a food allergy, this is a great time (back to school) to go back and discuss your anaphylaxis action plan, and get all your prescriptions, and make sure you really understand the course of food allergic disease. A big question that comes up during the school time is about a 504 plan….I know that every school system in every district in every county in every state is different in how they handle food allergens. And, it’s not always a first step to get a 504 plan – it’s really about creating a collaborative environment between the family and the school to see what they can do to accommodate your child with food allergies. However, the conversation must start your board certified allergist about what they believe the real risk is for your child and what they believe you should be doing with the school.
Additionally, it is helpful for parents to do what they can to help their child feel comfortable and included. Children with allergies might feel left out within a school setting. Work closely with teachers to minimize the amount of food-related activities. And, keep communications open with your child. Let them know what to expect, and encourage them to share their feelings. Finally, remain actively involved with the school and the plan, and feel free to make suggestions for improvements.
For more tips on how to help your child’s food allergy in school, consult your local school district directly.