KIDS AND ALLERGIES
Allergies are serious and especially so in children.
The vast majority of allergic reactions to foods affect the skin in one way or another. The severity of symptoms can change quickly and there is always potential for a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction.
This week I had a crash course in allergies and children. The fact that ingesting a food such as a peanut could be life threatening is truly a scary situation.
There are ways to minimize the potential risk and prevent accidental exposure to the foods that cause an allergic reaction.
Here are some of the family’s responsibilities when they have a child with a food allergy:
- Notify the school of the child’s allergies
- Work with the school team to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs throughout the school including in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in after-care programs during school sponsored activities and on the school bus as well as a Food Allergy Action Plan.
- Provide written medical documentation, instructions, ad medications as directed by a physician using the Food Allergy Action Plan as a guide. Include a photo of the child on written form.
- Provide properly labeled medications and replace medications after use or upon expiration.
- Educate the child in the self-management of their food allergy including:
- safe and unsafe foods
- strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods
- symptoms of allergic reaction
- how and when to tell an adult they may be having an allergy-related problem
- how to read food labels (age appropriate)
- Review policies/procedures with the school staff, the child’s physician, and the child (if age appropriate) after a reaction has occurred.
- Provide emergency contact information.
excerpts: from DuPage Medical Group – Asthma & Allergy Center
NEXT: School’s responsibility