If your child has food allergies, it is important to ensure your child’s needs are being met at school. The following information is intended to help you establish a dialogue with your child’s school.
As the parent of a child with a food allergy, it is critical that you know the following:
- The foods your child must avoid
- The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction
- The ways your child might describe an allergic reaction
- The treatment, including epinephrine
- How schools generally manage students with food allergies
- How your child’s school approaches food allergy management
Providing information about your child’s food allergy and medications to the school nurse and classroom teachers specifically, is critical. The first step is to create a Food Allergy Action Plan with your child’s licensed health care provider.
The plan should include:
- A complete list of foods to which your child is allergic
- The possible symptoms of your child’s allergic reaction
- The treatment that should be administered to your child and under what circumstances
- Contact information for emergency medical services, your child’s health care provider and you
- A current picture of your child
- The signature of the licensed health care provider
Managing food allergy at school involves a team of individuals, including the school nurse, teachers, administrators, cafeteria staff, other parents and your child’s classmates.
Before the first day of school, try to meet with members of your team to:
- Introduce yourself and share information about your child
- Find out what they already know about food allergies
- Provide information on the basics, clear up misconceptions and discuss the role that team members have in managing your child’s food allergy
For more resources about managing food allergies in schools click here!
Stefanie Hubert, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Orange County
For More Information
- Help Reduce Food Allergens in the Classroom
- Consider School Meals
- CDC Food Allergies in Classrooms Toolkit