If your kids are headed back to school soon, you are feeling stressed right about now. Besides the added pressures of new shoes, book fees and extracurricular sign-ups, food allergy parents have tons of forms to fill out, teachers and staff to speak with, worries to combat.
With all of the food offered at school, whether for a class party or even for a science experiment, it's easy to get caught up in worries about what might happen. I feel anxious each year, though as my daughter gets older the anxiety lessens somewhat. Still, depending on where we live and what policies our schools have, back-to-school can feel like yet another battlefield for us to conquer.
I've felt the frenzy and all of the fears, especially right before my severely allergic daughter started kindergarten. That year I had to beat down the door of the principal's office to be heard about their FA policies--of which they really had none.
I was able to help craft a food allergy protocol that really worked for us and the other food-allergic families. The year had a few hitches (100th day of school "snack mix" comes to mind) but overall it went great.
It will for you too. If you've done all of your own homework with med forms, medications and talking to staff, you've done your best. As the nurse told my husband and I as we left the hospital with our newborn daughter all those years ago "Don't forget to breathe."
It's always good to be cautious and on top of things, reminding the teachers and staff about your child's allergy needs. But don't forget to breathe. While we have every reason to have stress about our kids' allergies, calm but firm parents get taken more seriously. Trust me on this one.
I hope everyone is enjoying their last few weeks of summer and that all your back-to-school preparations go smoothly.