Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Food Allergy Action Plan Time!

This post is a reprise of one I did this time last year. It's an important piece of the back-to-school puzzle, so here it is: key info for new readers and a reminder for the rest of us!

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've had a reaction at school and the school health aide followed it to the letter. Although Benadryl was enough, without the dose of Benadryl, who knows? Bottom line: you may need this so make sure you feel certain that it's complete and accurate.

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 visually recognize your child.

- 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.


Hayley Flott owner of Flott Fitness said...

Yes Jenny, this is always a stressful time of year for us. Something that I found helpful is to have a meeting with your child's teachers before school starts. Sometimes these meetings can be stressful, so it's helpful to write out any questions or ideas that you want to talk to your child's teacher about before hand. One thing I've been insisting on since my son was in Kindergarten is that the class wash their hands when they first come to school in the morning and after they get back from lunch. In our school, no one ever asked for that and it was a battle the first few years but now they don't put up a fight about it; and last year they actually implemented it for the entire grade because the kids flex group. I also remind them that it will cut down on the spread of the flu!!

caramama said...

The (pre-)school my daughter starts this Fall will be the first one that is not a nut-free place. Her room will be nut-free, but not the whole school. Boy am I nervous!

Thanks for this form and the information. And most of all, thanks for getting me thinking and preparing for it now, rather than at the last minute.