Back to School – Food Allergy Updates

By: Alicia M. McCown, PA-C

Alicia M. McCown, PA-C

Hellooo, August (already?)! It’s back to school time and as you prepare your child for the academic year ahead, it is also important to re-visit food allergies so he or she is educated about his diagnosis and can stay safe.

Four things to get the conversation rolling include:

1. Empowerment – keep talking to your child about the seriousness of this disease. He or she is the one with the food allergy and is in charge of his own body. Therefore, your youngster is the ultimate gate keeper. It’s not something to be afraid of, but to be smart about and be prepared should an accident occur. This is why we don’t share snacks, don’t accept homemade treats without knowing the ingredient list, and always check labels before eating something new.

2. Inform your child’s new teacher and school staff about any food allergies–-this is a tremendous opportunity to educate your teacher as well as your child’s new classmates about food allergies. It’s important that everyone know the plan, should there be an accidental exposure.

3. Check your epinephrine expiration dates. Be sure the injectors are up to date and be sure you have enough devices to keep them at school, in the after-school program, in sports bags or music cases, and—of course—at home!  These go where you go – grandma’s house, overnights with friends, school football games, scout troop meetings, etc.

4. Schedule a follow-up appointment if it has been more than one year since your last visit. Food allergies may change over time.  You can also find out the most up-to-date information regarding food allergy research and emerging treatment options – including new research studies that may be available in your area.

School’s starting… Let’s make it a healthy year together!

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