It is not uncommon for parents of children with deadly allergies to feel uneasy during the back-to-school season, even if the parent does everything necessary to protect their child’s health and well-being in order to attend school. Planning and building relationships with the school staff, while creating groups of individuals that are knowledgeable and capable of assisting the child’s needs is crucial for your child to have a normal school experience. It is of great importance that parents plan for the type of allergic conditions their child is suffering from, and the most likely reaction they could experience. There are different types of allergic conditions that can affect school-age children. Some children suffer from food allergies and others from environmental allergies. Clearly identifying the allergy and providing appropriate emergency treatment can make it easier for the school administration to prevent the instances of an allergic occurrence.
Start the school year by contacting the head of the school and the school nurse to inform them of your child’s allergies. The school’s nurse is most likely the person who will carry out the emergency plan for your child while he or she is at school. If you can not go in person be sure to send the allergy information and directions for distributing medication in writing. Then call the school to ensure that your correspondence was received. Schedule a time to meet both the principal and school nurse to ask questions that might clear up any doubts or questions. Be sure to complete any requested forms from the child’s school with information from the doctor. If there are any special dietary restrictions make sure that it is listed on the accommodation form and on the emergency action plan form.
It is crucial for the child to understand what will happen if their allergy is not managed properly. Teach them at a young age how to read food labels and to determine if the product contains any triggers that may attack his or her immune system (Gupta, Pongracic and, Holl, 2011). When children are proactive in preventing allergic reactions, they become their best advocate. The child should also…be watchful of the foods (Desilver and Dubois, 2014), and drinks that are offered by their friends.
It is recommended that children with serious allergic conditions carry an epinephrine kit with them at all times. Epinephrine is a medication that quickly improves breathing, stimulates the heart, raises the dropping of blood pressure, reverses hives, and diminishes the swelling of the face, lips, and throat. Since no one can know for sure when your child will be exposed to situations that will alter his or her immune system, it is essential that they have these kits handy to decrease serious effects. It’s crucial to learn how to properly use the kit ahead of time so they won’t have difficulty in case of an emergency.
Especially be cautious during holidays and celebrations. The classroom is one of the places where you want to make sure your child’s food allergies are controlled during events. Be sure to remind the teacher what your child can and cannot consume during a party at school. The teacher should have a “no food sharing” rule to prevent your child from eating something that might trigger an allergy. Children will often eat something they are allergic too to fit in with the other children who are eating the same types of foods. The teacher should be mindful of the types of rewards that are given out and find alternatives that will not jeopardize anyone’s health. While you are speaking to the teacher, make sure to ask if you could be involved in classroom celebrations. Bring your child’s favorite snack that will not trigger an allergic reaction. This way they can also participate in the parties and not be left out.
Your medical plan should be written down and a copy should be left with each teacher and the nurse. Your doctor’s orders must be carried out exactly at all times. Ensuring your child is protected and without incident requires persistence and direct involvement (Kurowski and Boxer,2008). How do you manage your child’s allergies at school?