Teachers can be great allies in keeping your child with a peanut allergy safe and successful, but you'll need to make sure they have the knowledge they need to help. Use these suggestions to create a information packet to bring educators up to speed. (See also: Preparing the School for Your Child With a Food Allergy.)
Five Things Teachers Need to Know
1. My child's peanut allergy is not a matter of personal preference or minor discomfort. Even a miniscule amount of peanuts or peanut butter, too small to see or smell, can seriously harm my child. Please take his peanut allergy seriously, and help him and his classmates to do so, too.
2. If there is going to be a birthday party or other snack time in the classroom, please let me know in advance so that I can be sure to send in something that my child can eat.
3. It's okay to let my child's classmates know about her condition as long as it is done in a positive and respectful way; I'd be happy to help prepare a program.
4. My child has a significant health condition, but he is still a child with ordinary interests and hopes and dreams. Please help us keep his life as normal as possible.
5. Please join me in keeping the lines of communication open between our home and the school. It is important to my child's health and safety to have all of the adults in her life working together.
Printouts to Share with Teachers
Anaphylaxis: A Handbook for School Boards
Source: Canadian School Board Association
Managing Life Threatening Food Allergies in Schools
Source: Massachusetts Department of Education
Individual Health Plan: Severe Peanut Allergy (downloads document)
Source: Scott County, Virginia, Public Schools
Binky Goes Nuts Activity Unit
Teacher’s Checklist for Managing Food Allergies
Source: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network