1. Parenting

School Learned From Experience With Allergic Kids and Teachers

Share Your Story: Does Your School Have a Good Food-Allergy Plan?

By Katherine

Type of School

Private school in NYC

Your Child's Food Allergies

Nuts, sunflower seeds, shellfish, most fruits, pectin. The nuts and sunflower seeds are the most dangerous and deadly of the allergens.

Any Foods Banned?

Nuts and sunflower seeds are banned in my child's classroom. The rest of the building is "nut- and seed-aware," meaning they are on alert that there are people in the building who are allergic to nuts (my son is one of several students and teachers with nut allergies).

What Our School Does

The nurse and teachers have sent out notices letting parents know that there are children with severe food allergies in certain classrooms (my son's class is one of them, of course). The parents are asked to never pack nut products in their child's lunch.

I have also been allowed to speak at parent-greet meetings to inform parents about my son's allergies; in this way, I have been able to let other parents know that I am here in case they need to ask me any questions.

The teachers and school nurse all have Epi Pens and emergency kits containing Benadryl, both in the classroom and in the nurse's office.

How It Happened

The school had experience handling children with serious food allergies before (which was one of the many reasons we chose this school for our son).

Fortunately, the school was open to my suggestions for how to handle my child's allergies. The teachers and administration and nurse are all working together to make sure that my son is safe. It is still my job to make sure I am on top of anything that goes on in the classroom and lunchroom, but I think that my son's school will keep working with me to ensure his safety. I hope so!!

Tips and Tricks

  • The most important thing parents of food-allergic children must remember is that they MUST speak up and educate other parents about what is a life-threatening condition. Do not be embarrassed, and do not assume people will know what to do. Many parents are confused about what food allergies are, so it's up to you to educate them and be available to answer any questions they may have.
  • Have other snacks on hand. I ask parents to let me know if they are going to bring in a snack so that I can either let my child know he can have it if it safe or provide another snack for my child.

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