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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to School with Food Allergies- Tip #3

It's that time of year again. While you're busy prepping those backpacks for school and updating your child's Fall wardrobe don't forget to prep the school for your child's allergies.
All This Week I'll be highlighting school food allergy management tips:

Tip #3- Train School Staff

In the last 2 posts I discussed the importance of having a food allergy action plan as well as having accessible meds. Neither of these steps is sufficient without educating the school staff. Anyone dealing with your child should know the signs of an allergic reaction and be able to administer medications promptly and effectively. A simple epipen demonstration goes a long way. You can use an epipen trainer to demonstrate (trainer can be used multiple times). Another method is injecting an orange with an epipen (great use for those expired epipens). Yet another teaching tool is using an instructional video like the one below from the Online Allergist. FAAN has an epipen training DVD that is a fantastic teaching aide. 

If there's one thing you should convey it's don't be afraid to use the epipen. Kids have died when  adults hesitate to administer epinephrine. Take the time to help the teachers feel comfortable with the device and when to use it. Let them know that you appreciate all that they do and that you understand that having a food allergic student is a big responsibility. Your child is not the only student in the classroom, support your child's teacher and they'll support your child.
Collaboration and communication are essential for effective school food allergy management!
See the school tab of this site for valuable school allergy management resources

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