It is now estimated that over ten percent of school age children suffer from at least one type of allergy.
As a parent of a child with allergies, it can be very frightening to send them off to school.
You may worry what will happen, if your child is offered the thing they are allergic to? Another common concern is whether the school is able to deal with an allergic reaction quickly.
However, there are many things you can do to insure your child is safe, when attending school.
Talk to Your Child
The first step in protecting your child is talking directly to them. At the age of five, most children can understand if they are told to avoid something. While you don’t want to frighten your child, it is very important that they understand the severity of their condition.
Finish your conversation by explaining to the child that they are safe, and that there are many people to help, if something goes wrong.
Labels Are Important
Most schools will have forms to fill out detailing what allergies your child has. While these forms can be great for gathering information, they will do no good sitting in a file cabinet when your child is on the playground.
The time it takes for a school official to pull your child’s file during an emergency, can be the difference between life and death. In addition to filling out the forms, you should take steps to label your child’s belongings, and your child, with the information.
Buy your child a medical alert bracelet that details the allergy. You can also write the allergy information inside coats, backpacks, and lunch boxes. This can help to insure the information is present if something happens.
Meet with Your Child’s Staff Members
Before sending your child to school, it is important to meet with all staff members working with your child. This should include your child’s teachers, coaches, principal, and lunch staff. Make sure anyone who will directly supervise your student is in attendance.
Explain to the staff what allergies your child has, what to watch for, and how to respond during an allergic reaction. Many staff members may not understand the symptoms or signs of an allergic reaction. This meeting can be very helpful.
Supply Everything Needed
If your child requires items such as an Epi-Pen or Benadryl when an allergic reaction occurs, you should provide them. Make sure the nurse or teacher who will administer them is aware of the dose, and proper use.
You will also want to keep track of the expiration dates on any products supplied. Replace the products before the expiration date arrives.
You should also instruct the school to contact you immediately if the products are used. In some cases it may be imperative to take the child to the doctor after a reaction.
Letting your child go off to school can be scary. However, with a little planning you can insure their safety. Preparation is the key to allergy prevention and treatment.