Food allergies among children are fairly common, with about 8% of children affected—nearly nine million kids in the population. If you’re child happens to be allergic to certain foods, it’s especially important that you train your child to take precautions at school, where you can’t always monitor what she’s eating.
Here are a few school safety tips to help avoid food-related allergic reactions
- Instruct your child about the foods she cannot eat.
- Knowledge is the foundation of safety. Be sure that your child knows precisely which foods she is allergic to, and be sure also that she understands that some prepared foods may contain these allergens without it being obvious. Make a list of all foods that could possibly contain the allergen, and make sure your child knows it by heart.
- Make sure all teachers, nurses, and administrators know about your child’s allergies.
- You can’t be at school to monitor your child’s potential ingestion of allergy-inducing foods. But if you inform all adults that your child encounters on a daily basis, they can do their best to make sure your child avoids foods that she’s allergic to.
- Be on the safe side—pack your child’s lunch every day.
- Prepared foods can be such a crapshoot when it comes to children’s allergies that it’s best to avoid them as much as possible. Lunches that you prepare yourself are often a lot healthier than food options offered at the cafeteria. What’s more, you can control everything that goes into your child’s lunch. Be sure to prepare the lunch with your child, if possible, so she can gain a clearer understanding of what she can and cannot eat.
- Teach your child how to properly use an Epipen and how to wash her hands thoroughly throughout the day, especially before and after meals.
- Sometimes, you simply cannot avoid accidents. Even if you pack your child’s lunch, there are so many other opportunities for allergic reactions—other kids’ snacks and meals, classroom parties, and accidental exposure when children touch their mouths with their hands. It’s especially important that your child understands the importance of washing their hands periodically throughout the day—especially during mealtimes—to avoid accidental exposure. Make sure also that your child knows how to use an Epipen in the event of a reaction that causes anaphylaxis.
The good thing about food allergies in young children is that they often grow out of these allergies. Some allergies persist throughout their lives, however, so it’s important that your child regularly go to a doctor and understand which foods she may be allergic to. Good luck!
Lauren Bailey is a freelance blogger who loves writing about education, new technology, parenting, lifestyle, and health. As an education writer, she works to research and provide information for those choosing an online college and welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.