Informing School/Nursery About Allergies
Informing The School/Nursery About Allergy.
The incidence of allergy in children continues to rise and often the reactions are more severe from less contact with the allergen.It is extremely important to inform the school, nursery, childminder or any other care-giver to your child of not only the allergy, the expected reaction and most importantly how to treat the symptoms.
School And Nursery Policy.
Most schools are now required to write and up-date policies regarding the subject of pupils allergies. Along with this the staff must attend training sessions on the subject which they must update.
As parents we are obliged to inform the school or nursery of the allergy and also the information surrounding diagnosing a reaction and how to manage it. It may be helpful to provide the school with a photo of your child which can be referred top by staff for ease of identification of the affected pupil. This way the staff can be more vigilant and all members will recognise your child’s face immediately preventing any delays of treatment or mistaken identity. This of course will probably not be necessary in very small schools or nurseries as the staff will almost definitely know all the pupils by name but it still may be useful for students and new starters.
Always make sure the school has all the emergency phone numbers needed in case of an allergy and if an anaphylactic reaction is possible, ask your GP or school nurse about keeping an adrenalin-filled pen nearby in case of emergency.
Schools also have strict policies about the wearing of jewellery so if your child wears an identification bracelet that displays the allergy always make sure the school know what this is for and re-iterate to them the importance of the child leaving it on and it not being removed and confiscated as some school may do if it is mistaken for a piece of regular jewellery.
If your child is taking any medication for allergy relief, please pass this information to the school along with a copy of the patient information leaflet as this can be extremely beneficial for staff that are unfamiliar with the drug.
Always remember that the teachers are there to help you and safeguard your child so it is very important to ensure they are as informed of the allergy, the symptoms and the treatment as you, the parent.
What About School Lunches?
If you have informed the school of your child’s food allergy they will have passed this information on to the caterers responsible for providing the school lunches and an alternative meal may be provided. Some schools may charge extra for this service.For reassurance and peace of mind why not contact one of the lunchtime supervising staff and reinforce with information of the allergy, the nature of the reaction and what to do if a reaction develops.
What About Packed Lunches?
If you send your child to school with a packed lunch you may think you are totally in control of their dietary intake but think again! Children frequently swap or give away items out of their lunch boxes to their fellow classmates often without the staff being aware. If your child is very young and does not fully understand their allergy and has been restricted from certain products, the temptation to try them if offered is great.As parents we must educate our children on nutrition and this is more important if the have an allergy especially to something seen everyday such as milk or certain fruits.If your child has a regular circle of friends it may be worth contacting their parents and speaking to the child as well so that they are fully informed of your own child’s food allergy. This way the parents can reinforce the rules surrounding the allergy which may help to discourage the swapping of food items at lunch. It will also benefit the other parents in the instance of your child going to their friend’s house for tea.
Food allergy reactions can be prevented for the most part but whilst the child is socialising with their friends or during school mealtimes the risk is slightly higher so parents must be vigilant at ensuring all carers and teachers are aware of the allergy and how to manage a reaction.