Getting back into the swing of school after a fun, active summer can be challenging for the whole family. That’s why parents with food-allergic children understand the value of planning and organization.
Here are three topics that are of particular importance to children with food allergies and their parents:
1) Your Food Allergy Action Plan
2) Dealing with Bullies
3) Fun Lunches for School.
Food Allergy Action Plan
Having a comprehensive Food Allergy Action Plan on file at child’s school will relieve worry while your child is at school. Following these recommendations will further inform the school administrators of what their responsibilities are relative to your child’s food allergies.
- Notify the school of the child’s allergies.
- Work with the school team to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs throughout the school including in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in after-care programs, during school-sponsored activities, and on the school bus, as well as a Food Allergy Action Plan.
- Provide written medical documentation, instructions, and medications as directed by a physician, using the Food Allergy Action Plan as a guide. Include a photo of the child on the written form.
- Provide properly labeled medications and replace medications after use or upon expiration.
- Educate the child in the self-management of their food allergy including:
- safe and unsafe foods
- strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods
- symptoms of allergic reactions
- how and when to tell an adult they (the child) may be having an allergy-related problem
- how to read food labels (age appropriate)
- Review policies/procedures with the school staff, the child’s physician, and the child (if age appropriate) after a reaction has occurred.
- Provide emergency contact information
Bullying: How to Recognize It
Bullying is unacceptable behavior regardless of where it occurs, but children with food allergies have a personal perspective of what bullying feels like.
Parents and educators alike can teach children about developing a safety plan which should include who they are going to inform about the bullying, how they will stay safe physically, and ways in which they can express their feelings. Safety plans should be communicated to teachers, school administrators, health nurses, co-workers and others who come in contact with your child on a daily basis.
Be aware of the signs and symptoms of bullying and ask your child directly if you suspect he/she has been bullied. Some of the more common symptoms of bullying can include:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed personal belongings
- Changes in eating or sleep habits
- Not wanting to go to school
- A decline in grades
- A sudden loss in friends
- Feelings of helplessness
To read the complete blog post with more helpful back to school tips and allergy friendly lunch recipes, please click here.