I don’t quite know who is more nervous for school to start, us as the parents or the kids themselves. It’s a huge deal when you stop to think about how you are not only entrusting others to educate your children and prepare them for the world in which we live, but also to care for your children and keep them safe. Add in entrusting them with your child who has life threatening food allergies and that just brings it to a whole other level.
Food allergies in children are growing and more than likely, the odds are that at least 2 children in every classroom has a food allergy. In our classroom this school year, there are 3 children with allergies that I know of, including my son. Thankfully the school we attend has been working with us to ensure providing a “safe” environment for Xander and other children but it didn’t happen without stepping up and making it happen.
Overall, schools still need to develop policies on how to manage food allergies, handle medical emergencies, and take preventative steps in order to avoid a student’s exposure to a known food allergen. Its a big task for everyone involved as doctors, parents, and school staff need to work together to create practical plans that will keep students with food allergies safe.
In our case, after meeting with the Principal, District Nurse, and Teacher, our classroom became “Food Free”, there is a “Safe” table in the cafeteria, Staff is trained on how to use and Epi-Pen, and our son’s Emergency Kit travels with him in school depending on what class or special they have. Beyond that, I have decided to always pack his lunch, keep him off the bus, provide him with a medical alert bracelet, be involved as a HomeRoom Mom and join the PTA to ensue that activities planned stay safe for not only my son, but others with allergies. Its a team effort!
It is scary for sure, but being prepared makes a big difference! Here are some great resources for you as you are entering this school year.
Food Allergy Website for Kids – This is one of my favorites for kids with coloring pages, stories, puzzles and how to teach their friends about food allergies.
I wish you a happy, and safe school year!