The first day of school is just around the corner. Many parents are getting together school supplies their children need, buying new clothes for the school year, etc. If your child has food allergies, you may have other things you need to do, in addition to the normal list of things parents often do around this time of the year. Below are some tips to prepare for the new school year for parents with children who are allergic to food allergens such as peanuts, tree nuts, dairy, etc.
1. Talk to the school about your children's allergies.
If your child is going to a new school, you want to make sure the school has a procedure in place in the event your child has a severe allergic reaction due to an accidental exposure. Do the teachers and staff undergo training on how to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction? Do they know what to do? Where are the EpiPens kept in the school? Do staff and faculty know how to administer EpiPens? Having a procedure in place can be a matter of life or death for your child if he does suffer an allergic reaction.
If your child is going back to a school where he/she was the previous year, you should still call the school to discuss all the above issues. There may be new staff or faculty, and the school needs to make sure they are also trained and aware of your child's allergy.
If your child's school is a government funded school, do you have a 504 plan in place? A 504 plan provides the necessary accommodations designed specifically for your child after meeting with the school administrators.
2. Talk to your children about their allergies.
Your child has been home all summer. You, as a parent, take every precaution to prevent accidental food exposure. You make all of the meals from scratch. When dining out, you are with your children and ask all the right questions to the wait staff.
Now that school is starting, you are not going to be with your child for most of the day. Therefore, it is important to talk to your children about their allergies and remind them of what they need to do to prevent accidental exposures. For example, if they think they are having an allergic reaction, tell the teacher/staff right away. Remind them that they cannot share food with another child.
In addition, after talking to the school and understanding school policies, talk to your child about them. For example, if the school has a table for kids with peanut allergies at lunch time and your child has a peanut allergy, make sure he/she knows that he/she should sit at that table during lunch.
If you or your child suffered a severe allergic reaction due to a restaurant’s negligence, you have legal rights. Call Daniel J. O’Brien, a PA and NJ personal injury lawyer to schedule a FREE consultation and discuss your legal rights. Call 877.944.8396.