Where back to discuss Part 2 in the series of how to prepare for school with a food allergy, this entry’s topic is Food Allergy School and What Not To Do. In case you missed it, check out the first post Prepare for School with a Food Allergy, Part 1 which has my Top 10 Tips to prepare for school with a food allergy. In this entry, I’ll share my Top 5 Tips of what not to do when preparing for school. Don’t forget, there’s one more in this series to come, What To Do When Your 504 Plan Is Violated, Part 3.
Food Allergy School and What Not To Do
1. Don’t Sign A Release of Medical Records
Never provide a release of medical records for your school.
When you think about your child’s food allergy, school and what not to do it’s very important to not feel pressured to make quick, uncomfortable decisions. Medical Information is extremely private and not meant for public consumption. Never sign a release of medical records to your school; there’s nothing worse than school staff or even a school nurse or health paraprofessional interpreting your physician’s diagnosis and notes and drawing conclusions regarding your child’s medical information. A letter from your allergist is sufficient. See the first in the series entitled, Preparing for School with a Food Allergy, Part 1. Continue reading →
It was just another day in the life of a food allergy Mom. The day was beautiful, 75-degree weather, not too hot and not too cool. In fact, Goldilocks would have said it was a ‘just right’ day.
As I do everyday, I drove my son to afternoon kindergarten and as I approached the school parking lot there were children scattered across the front lawn eating their lunches. The lunchroom monitors were collectively chatting, not dispersed amongst the sea of kiddos.
Because food allergies are second nature to me, as with all allergy parents, my mind quickly ran to the safety issues. I wondered; do the children that eat at the peanut-free table have a peanut-free section on the lawn? I went about my business and took my son to his classroom and shrugged it off for the day, except for sharing it with my husband during dinner hour.
A few days passed where the weather wasn’t as cooperative so lunches were back in the cafeteria. We then had another break in the weather. I arrived as usual and was presented with the same situation. This time, as I walked to the entrance of the school, and passed the children eagerly eating, I saw a boy snap his drink vertically in the air so that the contents showered over everyone around him. Since my son is topically allergic to milk products, my mind raced to how that could affect him. I have no idea what the content of his drink was. My thought, people need to understand that food, for those that are allergic, is a weapon if you have life-threatening food allergies. Continue reading →
I’m teaching a class at Linden Hills Coop on Saturday, March 31, 2012, from 10 a.m. – noon on preparing for school with food allergies. Whether your child is entering kindergarten in the fall or a subsequent grade, learn how to partner with your school to establish a comprehensive 504, IHP and emergency plan all while encouraging food-free celebrations, activities and curriculums.