Back to school is an exciting event in a child’s life! When a child has food allergies, it can make the process a bit more stressful. It is important for the caregivers to get organized and make sure that their school is on top of anaphylaxis prevention measures and safety protocols. While at the same time, optimizing the ability of child to participate in school outings and activities. At Michigan ENT and Allergy Specialists, we want to make sure you and your child have the necessary tools needed for back to school.
1. First, every child should have a Food Allergy Anaphylaxis Plan.
A Food Allergy Anaphylaxis plan is an important tool that details your child’s allergies, describes the symptoms of anaphylaxis, and reminds school staff members of when to give treatment for anaphylaxis, like injectable epinephrine, and the emergency steps to follow promptly in case your child has an allergic reaction.
2. Secondly, communicate with the school.
Find out if your school or school district has a school nurse. If there is a nurse, tell them about your child’s food allergies and specific needs. Ensure that the school has an epi-pen on hand and the school staff has been properly trained to use it. Make an appointment with your child’s teacher to discuss safe snacks and field trips. If it is a young child with life threatening food allergies, the safest option is to pack separate snacks for your child if possible or the school is unable to accommodate.
3. Finally, educate your child.
You should teach your child to always read food labels, and avoid foods without labels. They should know what their body might do if they were to “have a reaction”, and also know to inform a guardian if they suspect a reaction.
If you suspect your child might have food allergies, we offer allergy food testing in our office. The proper treatment of food allergies requires attention to details. We perform thorough medical histories to determine what type of diagnostic tests are necessary. At Michigan ENT & Allergy Specialists, we only offer proven diagnostic methods which include skin tests, blood testing, and elimination diets. We have serum available to skin test the most antigenic foods such as egg, milk, soy and others, however, because the number of food allergens is so vast, our blood panel testing measures up to 184 different food allergens. Give us a call to schedule a consult with one of our allergy specialists to determine if your child has food allergies (616) 994-2770.