Many of us are getting our paperwork ready for back to school, or for a lot of us our child's first year of school--the big K--kindergarten. Even a seasoned food allergy parent like me gets a little queasy just thinking about what can go wrong at school. What helps me feel a lot, lot more in control is having a current copy of my daughter's Food Allergy Action Plan on file at the school office.
Do you have your Food Allergy Action Plan ready yet? Here is a link if you need a copy, available from the FAAN website.
The action plan will show the school staff every symptom to look for and action to take in the event of a reaction. I know that schools use these--we had a false alarm in 2nd grade and the school health aide followed it to the letter. In the end there was no need for medication--but they wouldn't have known this without the emergency action plan.
Make sure that your doctor fills out the form completely and that they include any special info needed. For example, does your child have asthma? Other health conditions? The form provides space for all of these. This form from FAAN is very clear and easy to read--my doctor said it was the best one he ever saw!
Here are a few other tips for a successful Food Allergy Action Plan:
- Print it on neon colored paper so that it's easy to spot in the event of an emergency.
- Be sure to include a current photo of your child--I usually use last year's school yearbook photo--so that substitutes and other staff recognize your child as the one with the allergy.
- Make sure the form is complete before submitting it and include a post-it with your phone number that offers to answer any questions about your child and their allergy.
You have time left before school starts so get this form into your allergists now--why wait? You'll beat the mad rush at the end of the month.