Back to school with food allergies during COVID-19

Allerkids .com @ 2021-09-21 07:29:55 -0700

4 tips for classroom food allergies during the pandemic.


As schools reopen and students head back to the classroom during COVID-19, parents of children with food allergies are navigating a much different type of learning environment.

 These tips can help parents work with their child’s team of educators to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment.

Must-know tips for managing food allergies at school during COVID-19

1. Create and practice an allergy action plan

Be proactive and develop an allergy action plan before the first day of school.

Talk to your child about what may happen if they have an allergic reaction at school - even if they’re wearing a face mask.

Describe to your child the physical reactions they may experience during an allergic reaction as well as the possible treatments - such as receiving an emergency EpiPen from a school nurse.

Younger children may especially not remember that they need to remain vigilant for things that could trigger an allergic reaction. If your child is entering a new learning environment for the first time during COVID, take special time to talk to them about their food allergy.

1. Talk to teachers and school staff - and ask questions!

Talk to teachers and school administrators about your child’s food allergies and symptoms of an allergic reaction.

Make sure the necessary people have access to your child’s medical information and medications before your child gets to school.

Don’t forget to share your allergy action plan with them.

Keep in mind that COVID-19 will likely impact the school’s normal operating procedures. Talk to school officials about how they’ll relay and record food allergy records (even if someone is out sick), who your best point of contact at the school is, and what else you can do to make sure everyone is on the same page about your child’s allergy.

 It could help to get a diagram of the school’s chain of command to understand who is in charge if someone happens to be absent. You’ll know who to call if you learn your child could be having an allergic reaction during school.

3. Create a 504 Plan if your child needs special accommodations

Food allergies are considered a disability, which means parents can create a 504 Plan that lays out a child’s special needs and accommodations to stay safe at school that likely goes beyond an emergency action plan.

A 504 Plan could include asking the school for a special space in the cafeteria for your child to eat lunch, avoiding certain classroom snacks, and taking extra care to clean and disinfect your child’s learning supplies.

4.  Support your child if they’re being bullied 

Kids with food allergies occasionally get teased or bullied, which can be very hard for a young person to deal with alone.

If your child says they’re being bullied because of their food allergy, reach out to their teacher or a trusted mentor at school to inform them about the situation.

Ask about the school’s anti-bullying and harassment policies to make sure the situation is being handled appropriately.