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What is a 504 plan and what does it mean for your child with a food allergy?



A 504 plan is the product of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), which protects the rights of persons with disabilities in programs and activities that receive funds from the U.S. Department of Education; public schools, institutions of higher education are some of the recipients.  Section 504 allows parents, in collaboration with the school, to create a 504 plan for their child with a disability.  The 504 plan outlines appropriate accommodations, needs and/or services for a child with a disability to participate safely and equally with his/her peers in all activities of a normal school day.

Under the act, disability needs include a variety of health conditions, including life-threatening food allergies for many children.  A determination would be made by the school to see if a child qualifies for protection under Section 504.

Examples of a 504 plan may include:

  • training teachers and bus drivers to recognize and treat a severe allergic reaction such as anaphylaxis,
  • avoid using food as rewards in the classrooms, and/or
  • celebrating birthdays in classrooms without providing foods with peanuts or other foods that may trigger an allergic reaction.

Also, a 504 plan may change as your child gets older.  Therefore, it is important to talk to the school at the beginning of every school year to see if any changes or additions are needed to your child’s 504 plan.

Other Frequent Questions For Food Allergy Cases:

Help After A Severe Allergic Reaction Due To A School’s Negligence

If your child suffered anaphylaxis due to the school’s negligence, he/she may be entitled to compensation.  If you would like to discuss your child’s legal rights and help prevent another food allergy incident from happening in the future, call the food allergy lawyers at White and Williams LLP at 877.944.8396.

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