Does your child or the child of someone you know have food allergies? Here are some important things you need to know how to keep them safe when heading back to school!
It's that time of year again where kids are headed back to school and summer is coming to an end. Going back to school is a very exciting time when kids are finding out who their teacher will be, picking out new school supplies, and reuniting with their friends. But what happens when your child has food allergies and they will be out of your watch? How will you know they are in good hands? What will they be exposed to? These are all questions that parents ask themselves at the beginning of every school year. It can be a stressful time of year and it is important to prevent these allergic reactions from taking place.
Food allergies can be extremely dangerous and sometimes incurable depending on the severity of the allergy. More than 200 individuals die from food allergies just from their home kitchen, work place or school cafeteria. That is just 25 percent of the allergic reactions that happen every year that lead an individual to go to the hospital or seek immediate medical care. The most common food allergies are to peanuts, walnuts, soy, wheat and dairy.
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So, what are the steps that you can take to make sure your child is safe from their food allergies at school? That is a great question and here are some tips that you can use this school year:
- Approach the teacher the first day of school and let him/her know about the allergy and the severity of it. Make sure you show them how to use an EpiPen or any other precautionary use.
- Your child should have a food allergy medical card that you can either receive from your local medical professional. This should include their full name, their allergy, emergency contact.
- Talk to the school cafeteria manager/chef and give him/her a medical card as well to have on file.
- Have an open conversation with your child about their allergy and what they can and cannot eat.
- Label their allergy inside their lunchbox and backpack as well.
Having a food allergy can be a great challenge, especially if you are young and do not always know what is what when it comes to ingredients. You can incorporate fun homemade games or flash cards so your child knows what they are allergic to and it turns into something they enjoy talking about.
Always have some food allergy-free snacks packed in their backpack and lunchbox along with in your car so the child is never feeling left out amongst their friends who do not suffer from the same allergy.
Pay close attention to your child's surroundings and take caution when it comes to back-to-school season and food allergies! Does your child suffer from a food allergy? If so how do you keep them informed and also easier for them? Let us know in the comments below!