Food allergy post: August 2011

Well, the end of the month is here and so is this month’s food allergy post. We have some really REALLY exciting news about a food allergy event we’re working on, but we’ll save that for it’s very own post.

This post has a few tips for those families sending kids with food allergies back to school (it’s that time of year again already). Not having a little one myself, I asked a few friends what they were doing to prepare, and here are the best tips I got about that big backpack-toting day:

1) Plan ahead- If your child has food allergies, it is always, ALWAYS best to take preventative measures against a reaction. So, if possible, setup meetings with teachers, administrators, anyone that would be supervising your child at any point during the day. Obviously the nurse should also be directed as to how best to handle your child’s allergies.

2) Provide information- There are a whole lot of people that have no idea what or how severe allergies can be. And those people are adults. Children? Probably don’t have a clue. Ask your child’s teacher if they can perhaps take a little time to discuss respecting each other’s space, and differences, without alienating your child. There tend to be class rules set in lower grades, so it might be something that they can incorporate fairly easily.

3) Create a dialogue- Your child is going to school and taking on new responsibilities. It might help ease the transition if they have a set of questions to ask or a set answer if food is offered to them. Try practicing a conversation at home with them before they leave for school everyday.

4) Repeat, repeat, repeat- It’s not a bad idea to print out a list of dangerous triggers for teachers to remind them, as well as any “room parents” that plan parties, etc. which foods are dangerous. Reminders are important.

5) Make it fun- It’s hard to be different in school. Or, well, at all…ever. But you know what makes being different better? Having fun with it and embracing it. Take a look at some of the products on allergyapparel.com. They’ll help keep your child safe while they get to show their style.

So that’s a little bit of what I have learned. Well, that, and taking deep breaths and one step at a time. How about you moms out there? What helps you send your little one back safely? love, Meg

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