If your child has severe food allergies, you know that even sending them to school can be stress-inducing on occasion. What if they mistakenly ingest something that they are allergic to, and you're not there to protect them? Cutting those apron-strings is difficult for any parent, but when your child has a potentially life-threatening health condition that can come on so suddenly, it's even harder.
You've done all you can to educate your child about their food allergies and have taught them to advocate for themselves (Son #1 states on a regular basis, "I can eat pistachios, but I don't eat peanuts because they will make me sick!").
But how can you be sure that your child's teachers and school nurses know to take food allergies seriously, can recognize the early stages of a food allergy reaction, and know how to provide quick, effective treatment?
This is your opportunity! The Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) has available a limited number of excellent food allergy education programs designed especially for schools. FAAN's School Food Allergy Program (SFAP) is a comprehensive, multimedia program that includes a video, EpiPen® trainer, poster, and binder filled with more than 100 pages of information and standardized forms.
It is available free of charge to schools in Illinois and Ohio, and for a nominal charge of $75 to schools in other states.
Ask your school nurse to request the education program via the FAAN site: http://www.foodallergy.org/school/sfap.html (or click the title of this post)
Additionally, consider asking your child's allergist if he/she would be interested in giving an educational presentation on food allergies at an upcoming PTA meeting. Most physicians would be happy to take an hour or two of their time to educate the community and potentially promote their practice at the same time!