September 26, 2023

Registering Children With Food Allergies For Kindergarten

by admin in Food Allergy News0 Comments

It’s that time of year again — the time to start looking into which school your child will attend in the coming school year. Are you registering your food allergic child for kindergarten this year? This can come with a dose of anxiety even for parents whose kids have no allergies. Will your child be safe? Will he or she make friends easily and like school?

The thought of sending your 5-year-old into the world without you by her side can be scary, especially when you consider school lunches, snack time, and holiday parties. Depending on your local school district, the closest elementary school to you may have extensive food allergy policies in place. Or, the policies could be lacking, or even nonexistent. Rest assured, if more needs to be done, it is certainly possible to get school policies changed in order to protect your child and classmates who may have food allergies.

One mother recently shared her tips for registering food allergic children for kindergarten “Register early,” she says. This gets your child on the school’s radar so that they have time to prepare and know what to expect when your child arrives on the first day of class. Next, look into the school’s policies and how the school operates in general. If you must push for a change in policy, it helps to be able to navigate the bureaucracy.

Before the school year begins, it’s time to build a support team for your child. Make sure that the school nurse, principal, and lunch room supervisor know about your child’s allergies, in addition to any teachers who may come in contact with your child during the school day. These relationships are critical, and may last for many years as your child progresses through school. Make sure that each of these people are well versed in your child’s food allergies and what that means for them. Don’t assume that anyone on the team has dealt with severe food allergies before; even the school nurse may not have much formal training in treating kids with foods allergies.

Finally, establish a Food Allergy Emergency Action Plan for your child. These are the steps to be taken if your child accidentally comes into contact with an allergen or is experiencing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Your plan should be tailored to your child’s circumstances, and should be reviewed by your child’s doctor and the school nurse, who may provide additional forms such as permission to administer epinephrine.

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