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Back to School Tips for Parents of Kids with Allergies

For parents of children with allergies, back to school time can be especially stressful. Ensuring your child’s safety when you’re not there can feel like a huge challenge. Fortunately, a little advance planning and preparation can go a long way in helping to get everyone on the same page when it comes to understanding what is and isn’t safe for your child at school.

What steps you can you take to help create a safe school environment for your child? Morningside Nannies teamed up with Gimbal’s Fine Candies to share these 6 tips for parents of children with allergies.

1. Talk to children about their food allergies

The first steps to safety at school start at home. Teach children never to trade food from lunches or eat anything with unknown ingredients. Educate yourself and the child about hidden ingredients and what specifically they are allergic to. Encourage them to be vigilant about washing their hands after meals, and provide them with allergy friendly snacks and treats to bring with them to school.

2. Keep a stash of approved foods at school

Holiday parties, birthday celebrations and other school events that include food can make kids with allergies feel left out. Ask the teacher at the beginning of the year if it would be okay to send in some allergy approved treats for your child. Having simple allergy free snacks like jelly beans from Gimbal’s candies on hand can help to ensure your child feels included in special events.

3. Set up a Food Allergy Action Plan

Provided by FAAN, the Food Allergy Action Plan is available to customize according to your child’s needs. This includes making sure that your child and/or school officials have an EpiPen on hand and going through scenarios of what to do in the case of anaphylactic shock. Be sure to meet with the school nurse and your child’s teacher prior to the start of school to discuss your child’s specific concerns.

4. Seek out other parents/nannies of children with food allergies

It can help to surround yourself with a support group of people who are going through the same experience. This will allow you to have a group to lean on as well as keep a watchful eye out when you cannot be there.

5. Volunteer to chaperone fieldtrips

Whenever outside food is involved, it never hurts to volunteer your time and even offer to bring allergen-free snacks for the class or group. It’s harder to maintain a sterile environment on buses and unfamiliar settings, so sometimes being there in person and doing it yourself is the easiest way to ensure safety.

6. Ask about setting up allergy-awareness programs

Offer to educate the people who interact with the child, adults and other students alike. Talk to school principals and teachers about doing an in-school program or event geared towards allergy education. If your child’s classmates can get a better grasp on what food allergens different kids face they can become an instrumental part in helping prevent exposure and allergy attacks. Education and understanding play key roles in preventing safety issues or accidents.


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