Six ways to protect your food allergy kids when back to school!
There are, however, some things you can do to minimize your nerves and create awareness in support of your kids' safety and provide you with some peace of mind that you deserve. Here are six tips that should help you do just that (along with just a handful of cute photos shared with us over the years - we literally have several hundreds of them!)
ONE OF OUR FAVORITE PHOTOS SHARED. WE ARE SO PROUD TO BE PROTECTING KIDDOS SINCE 2009 :)
Tell people about your kid's food allergy and then tell some more. This is not the time to be shy! The key to keeping your children safe when they're at school is to let as many people know as possible about their allergies. Administrators, teachers and other personnel should be aware so that they can be your eyes in keeping them away from their allergens and hands in providing help in an emergency. If you are a bit exasperated from repeating the same ole story about your child's ailment hand them one of our TEACHER FORM FOR FOOD ALLERGIES. Or better yet do both. Send them armed and ready with life-saving tools and know their whereabouts.
Wherever your children are, they should never be too far from their safety tools like an ALLERGY ACTION PLAN and two doses of epinephrine. No ifs, ands or buts. We have a great plan available on our website to download here. Some physicians prefer to use their own plans. Know how close in proximity these things stay to your child, and verify that staff know how to properly use the auto-injectors should the need arise. Of course our MEDICINE CASES, now in their sixth year of production, are ideal for carrying and sharing emergency meds.
Pack your child's lunches and snacks. Don't leave anything up to chance in the cafeteria. Make sure your kid has access to safe foods that he or she enjoys eating so that they're never tempted to reach for anything else. Also train your child not to share. We know of the perfect resource for kids LUNCH BAGS & ACCESSORIES for kids with food allergies. Wink. Wink.
Find the cutest food allergy awareness snack and lunch bags @AllerMates.com
Find out the meal and snack time arrangements for food allergy kids. Do kids with food allergies get their own table in the lunch room, or are they subject to cross contamination from their friends? Many schools offer a Peanut free/Nut free or even Dairy Free table/s. It's really up to you whether you chose to have your child sit at a designated table. I suggest that whatever you do chose, you make sure your child is well aware of your choice and understands the implications of either one. Also it's always helpful to understand how the cafeteria is supervised so that you can ensure someone is on the lookout in the event of an emergency. Many school cafeterias have lunch aides, etc.. Check out our SAFETY POSTERS for schools classrooms or cafeterias.
Teach your kids the Allergy Safety Rules. It's never too early to start teaching our children with food allergies on how to keep themselves safe and it's probably the most valuable thing you can teach your child. We have free resources in our KIDS CLUB on-line as well as BOOKS & ACTIVITY BOOKLETS to purchase in our store.
Accessorize them in safety. Again, making sure people know about your child's allergy is critical to avoiding a reaction or recognizing the emergency. Therefore, any opportunity you have to create awareness should be taken. Alert bracelets, lunch bags, snack bags and bag tags are just a few great ways to do this. Lastly, check in as often as you'd like. Not only are you helping to set your mind at ease, you're actively reminding administrators and educators of the need to protect your child and, though indirectly, even other food allergy kids. When done in combination with the other precautions above, you are paving the way for a number of successfully safe school years for your most prized pupil.
SAFETY WITH A SMILE, ALLERMATES STYLE!
Here's to a wonderful and safe school year!
Iris Shamus is a mother to three awesome kids & the founder/CEO of AllerMates. AllerMates was born in 2008 as a result of her food allergic and asthmatic son, Ben. Iris and/or AllerMates have been featured in many places including Fox News, the Doctors, Veria Living, MSNBC, The Today Show & the Huffington Post with helpful advice on keeping kids safe. Based in New Jersey, Iris & her team design & ship their products, create informative content & obsess every day about safeguarding kids.