Friday, January 11, 2013

New Year Food Allergy Checklist -- Are You Ready?

Taking care of food allergy concerns early in the year
will prepare you for any upcoming events.

Since the kids are back in school and the holiday rush is over, now is a good time to take stock of how things are going with our kids and their food 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 2013:

-Prescriptions. Are they up to date? Do you need any new epinephrine auto-injectors 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 and you’ll thank yourself later when you’re not rushing around, trying to get in touch with the doctor and beating deadlines for registrations.

- Allergy appointments. 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. By now, most public schools in the U.S. have trained staff to handle
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 emergency medication usage, restricted foods and any other areas of concern.

- 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.

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