Monday, January 5, 2009

Nut-Free New Year's Checklist

Since the kids are back in school for many of us (Yes!) and the holiday rush is over, now is a good time to take stock of how things are going with our kids and their allergies. It is the beginning of a brand new year, so new activities may be on the horizon. It is also mid year for those of us with school-aged kids and so some adjustments may have to be made.

(Also, since I feel the rush of organization coming over me as we embark upon a brand new year, I thought I would share this over-caffeinated sense of goodwill with all of you. :))

Here are some things to review as we begin 2009:

-Prescriptions. Are they up to date? Do you need any new Epi Pens or updated medical forms for sports, school, or clubs? (We do--for all of the above.) Make a plan to get this taken care of in the next couple of weeks. Epi Pen allows you to register your pens in an "expiration alert" system, so they don't expire before you can renew. I highly recommend this--saves lots of stress!

- Allergy appointments. My daughter is going to be given a new RAST this year and she also has a seasonal allergy appointment. For those of you who deal with seasonal or annual allergy appointments, it pays to make those appointments now, because in the spring most doctors are chock-full of people coping with seasonal allergies. You don't want to have to wait!

- Review emergency procedures/food restrictions. Most public schools have all staff trained to handle Epi Pens and food allergy reactions, but it doesn't hurt to review this with your child's teacher as the second half of the school year begins. Also, if your child is in daycare, don't forget to review with your child's caregivers. Staff changes at centers may have occurred, too, or maybe your school-aged child is enrolled in a new activity. Now is a good time to go over Epi Pen usage and restricted foods.

- Check your calendar for any upcoming events that may present food risk. Travel, school parties and field trips are all things that can present food allergy challenges. Review your family's schedule and your child's school calendar so you can tackle these issues in advance. Then you can be ready with treats, doctor's notes or "safe" restaurant choices when the time comes.

1 comment:

Jennifer B said...

This is a good reminder list. I was just thinking I should check in with the school nurse because we changed allergists, and they don't have his contact info. Thanks--I needed another reminder. Don't want to let this slide.