HARTFORD -- Nearly 6,000,000 children in the U.S. have food allergies, an average of about two per class, which means a lot of parents could help safeguard their little ones during the school year by doing a little pre-planning now.
Dr. B.J. Lanser, an allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver, has four simple tips to help make sure your child doesn’t encounter an allergen, and to make sure they come out okay if they do:
The first is to meet with school administrators before the school year starts.
“Meet with the teacher, meet with the food preparation staff, the administration, the school nurse, whoever needs to be involved to get everyone on board and on the same page and ready to start school,” he said.
The second tip is to develop a written plan that outlines all the necessary information to prevent exposures, as well as a how to recognize and treat symptoms.
The third tip is to post a picture with allergy information right in your child’s classroom to alert anyone who enters the room.
“It’s easy to get confused and forget which foods each child might be allergic to, and so the more clear and the simpler you can make it for everyone at school is great,” Dr. Lanser said.
Finally, pack safe snacks for your child in case someone brings in an allergenic treat for the class.