Back to School - Safely !

Information for parents

Teach all asthmatic and anaphylactic children to:

  • Recognize first symptoms of a reaction or an attack
  • Carry medications at all times (or know where they are kept at school)
  • Clearly let teachers or caregivers know if symptoms begin
  • Take as much responsibility as possible for his or her own safety
  • Report bullying or threats immediately to caregivers or teachers
  • Be able to utilize some strategies to combat teasing and handle questions

In addition, teach food allergic children to:

  • Not share food or drinks
  • Learn the vocabulary needed to explain allergies to others
  • Wear a medical alert bracelet (e.g. MedicaAlert)
  • Practice good food hygiene and frequently wash hands
  • Only eat foods approved by parents (for young children)
  • Know how to read labels and manage restaurant meals (for older children and teens)

Minimum standards for care at school start with:  Parents

  • Inform the school before school starts
  • Supply a physician's letter detailing the allergy and the emergency protocol
  • Supply up-to-date medications and ensure they are accessible
  • Enquire about training for staff and communicate about procedures
  • Put in place plans for field trips and other special occasions

Minimum standards for care at school start with: Teachers

  • Minimize or eliminate classroom allergens
  • Take all symptoms of allergy or anaphylaxis seriously; do not "wait and see"
  • Encourage frequent hand washing and cleaning of desks
  • Communicate with other students and parents about the risks associated with allergies
  • Avoid using allergenic foods on special occasions
  • Talk to the parents of the allergic child in advance of special events

Source:  Allergy Asthma Information Association

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