Keeping Your Kids Safe from Food Allergies as they Return to School
Last Updated: 29th December 2022 · Written by Donna Mastriani
Anyone who has young children will be well aware that the school Summer holidays are just about over and it’s time to start shopping for those “back to school” essentials. If your child is unfortunate enough to have food allergies that cause them problems at home, lots of thought needs to be given to keeping your kids safe from food allergies as they return to school.
Dealing with food allergies and the like can be difficult at the best of times, let alone after you factor in all the stresses and worries that go along with being a parent at this time of year. In this blog, we’re going to offer up a few tips on keeping your little treasure safe, happy and playing as all kids should be.
Educating Your Child
First of all, the job of protecting your child against possible anaphylaxis or other unpleasant reactions that come from allergies to things like peanuts, starts with teaching them about what they’re allergic to and what to do if they come into contact with, what to them, is a dangerous substance.
Your little one will need to know:
- What exactly they’re allergic to and that they should avoid it,
- Where their EpiPen is (if they have one) and how it’s used,
- What kind of meals, snacks etc. have their problem food as an ingredient,
- Not to share foods with other kids,
- Never to eat anything when they’re not sure what’s in it.
- This is probably the most important part of keeping your kids safe from food allergies as they return to school, as a certain amount of responsibility must be placed on them. This way, they learn to work around the issues it presents as they grow.
Informing Your School
An obvious, but often forgotten step is to inform the school about your child’s food allergies. You’ll likely have to give any EpiPen, antihistamine medication or quick-relief inhalers to the front office of your child’s school anyway and sign paperwork regarding its use, so this is the best time to go over exactly what you know about your child’s vulnerabilities.
The good thing is that you’re not likely to be the only one with a child suffering from food allergies, particularly when it comes to things like peanuts, so you’ll probably find that measures are already in place to protect all children from this hidden danger. Just don’t leave it to chance and have a good chat with the school.
Make it Visible…if You Can
If your child is on the young side and they’re not confident enough to tell people about their allergies (a common issue, especially if they’re starting at a new school), then a small, but obvious badge with “I’m allergic to…” on it can be of help. Of course, you’ll have to get your child to agree to it first, as the last thing you want to do (and parents everywhere will attest to this) is cause them any unnecessary embarrassment.
This commonly employed measure ensures that everyone coming into contact with your child knows about their allergic issues.
Ultimately, whilst you can control your child’s environment at home, this just isn’t possible to the same degree out in the big wide world. What you can do is teach your child how to stay safe at school with some basic rules that are held up as “Absolutely Must & Musn’t Dos” along with practical advice on how to use their medication effectively. Do this, as well as taking the appropriate steps to inform their school and you remove much of the potential hazards that they face.
If you suspect that your child suffers from any kind of food allergy and you haven’t yet determined exactly what the cause is yet, we have the solution. At Lifelab Testing, we provide quick, easy, painless and affordable allergy testing to really get to the heart of the problem and give you the answers you need to protect your child.
From as little as £68.99, you can have your child or even yourself allergy tested against up to 25 key food & drink allergies (please note we only test for children aged 5 and above). For details of this and all of our other allergy and food intolerance testing services take a look at our website.
Thanks for reading our blog and we’ll see you next time.