Allergies at School: Surviving the Non-allergy Friendly School Year

Allergies at School: Surviving the Non-allergy Friendly School Year

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Allergies at School

Allergies at school are a big concern for my daughter. We all know each school year often comes with many celebratory occasions that involve loads of foods not normally in the classrooms. Many also know more and more children now battle various food allergies. My daughter is one of those allergic children, so along the way, I have had to learn to traverse the many food allergies that come her way at school. Fortunately, my daughter does not exhibit the scary reaction of anaphylactic shock. Her reactions tend to be digestively related, such as, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain and reflux. Obviously, I do my absolute best to never see my daughter suffer from reactions due to classroom exposures. Here is a list of some of the steps we take to help my daughter’s school year go reaction free, but also, always make her feel like she is included in every celebration.

Allergies at School

Brief Letter: At the beginning of the year, I type up a short letter for my daughter’s new teacher. I put my daughter’s name at the top, to be easily identified. I then explain the medical issues my daughter deals with, specific food offenders, and the consequences she suffers if an offending food is eaten. I give the letter to her new teacher, typically, at the meet the teacher night and take a moment to discuss my daughter’s food allergies. I then ask if there are any questions her new teacher may have and let the teacher know, as a parent, I want to do everything in my power to provide alternative safe foods for my daughter.

Alternative Treat Bag: Obviously, a teacher does not always know when someone is going to bring in cupcakes or other foods that could be allergens for my daughter. My solution, I always provide a bag of goodies at the beginning of the year. My daughter and I pick out some safe treats for her to put into a baggie and take into the classroom, for her teacher. Even though my daughter has food limitations, it has always been important, to me, for her never to feel left out of a situation due to her food allergies. We have managed to get around those situations by providing those special treats her teacher can give to her, rather than an unsafe cupcake.

Plan Ahead: When a teacher can forewarn about upcoming birthday celebrations and parties, life gets even more enjoyable for my daughter. My daughter and I will gather the safe ingredients and get to baking. When life is busy, there are cake mixes and frostings pre-made that we often utilize. We whip up some allergy-friendly cupcakes, frost, decorate and put in the cupcake carrier for class the next day. For my daughter’s birthday, I make enough cupcakes for her whole classroom and have never gotten one complaint about them tasting any less yummy. For other holiday parties, there are some other goody selections out there to bake. Our favorites are usually the pre-made mixes, rather than pre-made products. I often make allergy-friendly sugar cookies cut into holiday shapes, homemade rice crispy treats modifying the typical recipe to remove allergens, and, finally, home-made fruit and veggie trays (which tend to be a big hit).

What food allergies do your family members have and how has your family adapted?

Also, check online to find food allergy cookbooks that fit your lifestyle.

Allergies at School

 

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! People are always asking me “What do you plan on doing with your daughter when she goes to school when she has allergies.” and I always reply, “Hope she has alternatives, and people respect her boundaries.”
    It makes me feel bad that she has these limitations, and not many people here in Vegas understand what I’m going through as a parent of a child with allergies and eczema.
    I do hope that she grows out of her allergies (currently, she’s allergic to eggs, dairy products, and some soy products, as well as environmental allergens) but this has definitely comforted me to know that it is possible to have some control in the event that she remains allergic to those.

    • My daughter’s teachers have always been really appreciative of the letter explaining my daughter’s food issues. You are definitely not alone, since more and more children seem to have allergies these days. I do hope your daughter’s allergies ease-up as she grows. As your daughter gets older, she will also be able to express that she is allergic to specific foods, which really helps!

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