Back to school is right around the corner! This is an exciting and stressful time for food allergy families. Follow these tips to plan ahead and get ready for a safe and healthy school year.
1. Prepare your medical forms
Prepare medical forms for your school that outline your child’s allergens and the medications to take in case of a reaction. Remember, if you are one of our patients school medical forms take up to 10 business days for us to process, so please email them to SCFAI at [email protected] at least two weeks before they are due.
2. Ensure school emergency medications are up to date
Check to make sure you have up to date emergency medications for school, including Epi-Pens/Auvi-Q and Benadryl. Talk to your provider about refills or additional prescriptions if you do not have extra medications to keep at school.
3. Do not separate Epi-Pens or Auvi-Q two packs
Epi-Pens and Auvi-Q should always be kept as a two pack in case the first dose is not effective.
4. Plan ahead with your child’s school
Plan ahead with school nurses, teachers, and administrators to understand your child’s school policies around emergency protocol, 504 plan, storage of Epi-Pens, allergy-free snack and lunch areas, and food sharing during special events.
5. Educate your child
While schools work hard to keep our children safe, it is important to teach your child to protect themselves. Educate your child about not accepting foods that are offered to them by others. Work with the school to designate a trusted adult who is well educated on food allergies that can be a point person for your child if they have questions about food throughout the school day.
6. Be aware of potential non-food allergens
As your child goes back to this new environment, be aware of potential non-food allergens as well. The school environment can be filled with many environmental allergens such as class pets, trees, grasses, and cleaning supplies. There are also many foods hidden in art supplies! Beware of play-doh and finger paint for wheat allergies, chalk for milk allergies, tempera paint for egg allergies, tissues for coconut allergies, and crayons for soy allergies.