living offers guidelines to expand your child's
safe haven to the outside world. Sending your child to a playdate
or school, or leaving
your child with a sitter requires planning; and a good dose of bravery!
Our basic philosophy is to educate the child and the caregivers,
to prepare, and then, to let go. It is important to find that balance
between keeping your child safe without over-restricting their experiences.
You will find that with practice, you will adroitly manage to create
an effortless routine for managing your child's allergies.
Sending a child to school can be frightening for a parent
who has been devoted to watching and caring for the safety of their allergic
child. For very young children, it is critical to select a preschool
that is receptive to you and your concerns. Find a school that will let
you make a presentation to the children. Find a school where the teachers
are in close communication with parents and each other. The risk of accidental
exposure to foods can be reduced in the school setting if schools work
with students, parents, and physicians to minimize risks and provide
a safe educational environment for food-allergic students.
- Notify the school of the child's
- Meet with the teachers and other caregivers. Plan to give
them an action plan detailing what to do in the event of an emergency.
EpiPen® trainer to demonstrate the correct use of the
EpiPen® and review
what foods are safe and not safe. Work with the school team to
plan that accommodates the child's needs throughout the school
the classroom, the gym, the cafeteria, in after-care programs,
during school-sponsored activities, and on the school bus.
- Tour the
kitchen and note the snacks they will feed the children. Make
a list of safe and not-safe products.
- Make a presentation to the children
explaining your child's allergies and how they can help.
- Provide properly labeled
medications and replace medications after use or upon expiration.
the child in the self-management of their food allergy including:
determination of safe and unsafe foods, strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods,
of allergic reactions, how and when
to tell an
may be having an allergy-related problem, and how to read food labels (age appropriate).
the school's emergency supplies, and provide alternatives to offending
foods (i.e. soynut butter or sunbutter instead of peanut butter).
emergency contact information.
- Place a “safe snack box” in
your child's classroom. Pack a variety of non-perishable safe snack
treats, like candy or cookies. Your child can have
a treat from home if there is an unexpected celebration or
snack at school.
- Be knowledgeable about and follow
applicable federal laws including ADA, IDEA, Section 504, and FERPA
and any state
laws or district
policies that apply.
- Review the health records submitted
by parents and physicians.
- Include food-allergic students in school
activities. Students should not be excluded from school activities
on their food
- Identify a core team including, but not limited to,
school nurse, teacher, principal, school food service and
and counselor (if available)
to work with parents and the student (age appropriate)
to establish a prevention plan. Changes to the
should be made with core team participation.
that all staff who interact with the student on a regular basis
understands food allergies, can
recognize symptoms, knows
what to do in
an emergency, and
works with other school staff to eliminate
the use of food
allergens in the allergic
student's meals, educational tools, arts and
crafts projects, or incentives.
- Coordinate with the school
nurse to be sure medications are appropriately stored, and be sure
that an emergency
available that contains
a physician's standing
order for epinephrine. In states were regulations
permit, medications are kept in an easily
location central to designated school personnel, not
in locked cupboards or drawers. Students
to carry their own
epinephrine, if age appropriate,
from the student's physician/clinic, parent
and school nurse, and allowed by state or
school personnel who are properly trained to administer medications
and Good Samaritan
the administration of emergency medications.
prepared to handle a reaction and ensure that there is a staff
member available who is
school day regardless
of time or location.
- Review policies/prevention plan with the
core team members, parents/guardians, student
appropriate), and physician
after a reaction has
- Work with the district transportation
administrator to assure that school bus driver training includes
symptom awareness and what to
do if a reaction
- Recommend that all buses have communication
devices in case of an emergency.
a lunch table that is peanut free. (see peanut-free easel), and
enforce a policy
to wash hands after
- Enforce a “no eating” policy
on school buses with exceptions made
only to accommodate special needs under federal
or similar laws, or school district
policy. Discuss appropriate management
of food allergy with family.
- Discuss field
trips with the family of the food-allergic child to decide appropriate
for managing the food allergy.
- Follow federal/state/district laws
and regulations regarding sharing
- Take threats or harassment
against an allergic child seriously.
- Should not trade food
- Should not eat anything with unknown
ingredients or known to contain
- Should be proactive in
the care and management of their food allergies
and reactions based
on their developmental
- Should notify an adult immediately
if they eat something they
believe may contain
More detailed suggestions
for implementing these objectives and creating a
specific plan for each
to address his
or her particular
are available in The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis
Network's (FAAN) School Food
Allergy Program. The School Food
Program has been endorsed and/or
by the Anaphylaxis Committee
of the American Academy of Allergy
Asthma and Immunology, the National
Association of School Nurses,
the Executive Committee of the
Section on Allergy and Immunology
of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
FAAN can be reached at: 800/929-4040.
following organizations participated
in the development of this document:
American School Food Service
Association, National Association
of School Nurses,
School Boards Association, The
Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis
primarily based and reprinted
with permission from The Food