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How to Alert a School to Your Child's Severe Allergies
This entry was posted on January 18, 2017.
Having a child with severe allergies presents itself with some very real challenges. This guide is all about sending your little one to safely to school.
The beginning of the school year is usually met with a mix of emotions.
Excitement: new clothes, new shoes, a cool new backpack.
But then, anxiety: homework and quizzes and tests.
Plus, there's another kind of test: your child's severe allergies.
Can they get through the year without a reaction?
What happens if they do have one?
Here's a guide to help keep your child allergy-safe at school.
Define your child's severe allergies
As a parent, you're intimately familiar with your child's allergies.
You know what's in the thing they're reaching for at the grocery, and if they can have it.
- Is that cookie brand made in a factory that shares equipment with nuts?
- Are there eggs in that brand of sandwich bread?
- Is someone wearing too much perfume or cologne?
And it's become so second-nature to you that you don't even think about it. You just know.
But just because you know doesn't mean others do.
Start with making a list of all the things you know:
- The things your child reacts to (severe allergies down to mild sensitivities)
- Main triggers for environmental allergies (like perfumes, cut grass, etc)
- Foods and products that are likely to contain allergens
Once you've got your list, here's what's next.
Like you know the allergens, you also know the signs of an impending reaction.
Make sure your child's school is aware of those, too.
From the first sneeze or the first itchy spot, they should know what to look for.
Make sure you list those, too.
Create an allergy card (or sheet, if necessary).
Include everything you've put on your list, in easy to follow categories.
List the allergen with the level of reaction, any alerts and the treatment required and all emergency contact info, including any workplace information they might need for you.
A wearable version of an allergy card is medical alert jewelry.
Cool colors and styles can make wearing them fun for your child, too.
"Only from home" rule
Your child also needs to be an active participant in watching out for their allergens.
They likely are already, but the stuff other kids bring for lunch can be very tempting.
Institute an "only from home" rule: only eat what you packed for their lunch.
You can help make things a little easier for the teacher, too.
Provide allergy-free treats so if they're handing out rewards, your child isn't left out.
School isn't the only place to watch out for food allergies, either.
Meeting with the school
Once you've got your allergy card finished, set up a meeting with the school.
Go over each allergen and reaction.
Give them copies of the card, plus any meds your child may need.
What to do in case of emergency
Make sure school officials are clear on how to handle your child's severe allergies.
They need to understand when it's just a sneeze or something more serious.
And what to do in each case.
It's not one-and-done
You'll need to review the info you've given the school regularly throughout the year.
Plus make sure you're checking the expiration dates of any meds.
Schedule it around other parent-teacher meetings to keep easy track.
How we can help
Medical alert jewelry isn't just for kids, nor just for severe allergies.
It can help with conditions like diabetes or seizures.
Check out our full selection for every member of your family.