Parents have enough to worry about when their kids return to school, but when you’re the parent of a food allergy child, there’s always that additional worry in your mind. Here are some tips for sending your child back to school with a food allergy:
1. Request a meeting with the school administrator,teacher and school nurse before the school year begins. Many principals work in the summer and often times teachers are at schools preparing their classrooms. Discuss with your child’s school before the year starts what accommodations need to be made for your food allergic child and bring all medical documentation.
2. Be Prepared. That means medication authorization forms, special dietary meal accommodation forms, and emergency action plan forms filled out and ready to present to your child’s school before the school year starts.
3. Make sure your child always has and knows how to use an EpiPen, and always carries it to school.
4. Pack your child’s lunches and snacks. While many school cafeterias do try to accommodate students with food allergies, it is always best to send your child to school with food that you packed and prepared. This way there will be no mistakes in your child eating something that could pose a problem.
5. Teach your child the no food sharing rule. We like to have our children learn that sharing is caring but when it comes to a food allergy we cannot take the risk of a child trading for food that is unsafe.
6. For classroom celebrations encourage and send in non-food items to share with classmates such as stickers, colored pencils, books.
7. For classroom snacks encourage and send in fresh fruits, vegetables, and snacks that are Top a free. Enjoy Life has a range of snacks all Top 8 free and all appropriate for the classroom.
8. Be sure your child knows to always wash his hands with soap and water before and after eating ,even when you have packed the school lunch.
9. Teach your child that having a food allergy is something NOT to be ashamed of. Use the food allergy as a learning opportunity for all in the classroom.
10. Make sure your child reports any and all bullying. Food allergic kids in schools are often belittled and bullied and this should be stopped immediately.
What other tips can you share for sending your child Back to School with a Food Allergy? Share in our Comments Section. And for more tips check out our Back to School page