Back-to-school time can be both exciting and nerve-wracking, especially for food allergy families. Meeting new teachers and starting new classes can be stressful enough, but add food allergy management to the mix, and the worry factor can jump ten-fold. But rest easy! Food allergy mom Pam Lestage and food allergist Dr. Hoyt recently discussed their three simple strategies to an awesome back-to-school. Check out this episode of the podcast for all the details, but here is an overview!
Back-to-School Strategy #1
Visit your allergist.
Getting a back-to-school appointment is always a good idea, but if your child has food allergies, it’s especially important to visit your allergist before the school year begins. Reviewing your child’s symptoms and triggers, updating their treatment plan, and making sure they have the tools they need, like epinephrine, can help you and your child feel prepared and confident going into the new school year. This is also a great time to discuss new therapies, like OIT, and plan how to navigate therapies during the new school year!
Back-to-School Strategy #2
Meet with your school nurse and teachers.
One of the best things you can do to help your child manage their food allergies at school is to meet with your child's school nurse and teachers. Make an appointment to meet with them before the school year begins. During the meeting, you can go over your child’s allergies, symptoms, and treatment plan. You can also provide a list of safe foods and snacks for your child.
Back-to-School Strategy #3
Review your anaphylaxis action plan and practice it with your kiddo.
Anaphylaxis is a serious, potentially life-threatening reaction to a trigger food. If your child has food allergies, you need to have an anaphylaxis action plan in place. This plan should be reviewed and practiced with your child before the school year begins. Make sure your child knows what to do if they have a reaction, and make sure they know how to use their epinephrine auto-injector (pending they are at an age where you and your allergist feel this can be done properly).
You've Got This!
By following these three simple back-to-school strategies, you can help your child manage those food allergies and have a great school year!
Thanks for reading this post “3 Back-to-School Strategies for Food Allergy Families.” Do you have any questions about food allergies? Reach out to me! And be sure to check out my other blog posts and podcast episodes about all things food allergy. Thanks for reading!
– Dr. Hoyt
P.S. Food allergy testing can be super confusing, so I've created this awesome ebook to clarify the facts from the fiction! Get your copy today!
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A note from Dr. Hoyt
I have talked about a non-profit…
Pam and I volunteer with the non-profit The Teal Schoolhouse. Its primary program is Code Ana. Code Ana equips schools for medical emergencies like anaphylaxis.
Code Ana’s Online Epinephrine Training Program helps support that goal. Through this program, you will educate yourself while you support this important mission!
A medical emergency response plan is important for everyone at any school. Code Ana's program Med-E Ready is a comprehensive approach to school-focused medical preparedness. This program guides schools through the process of creating a medical emergency response plan. A response team is also developed! This is one of the most important components of a school's food allergy policy!
Does your kiddo’s school have Code Ana?
You've just read our post “3 Back-to-School Strategies for Food Allergy Families.” Remember, Dr. Hoyt is an allergist, but she isn't your allergist, so talk with your allergist about what you've just learned!