We have put together a guideline for you to go through to put your mind at ease as you send your kid (back) to school:
- Talk to your child
Make sure your child understands their condition and what that means for their day-to-day school life. Teach them how to manage their allergy symptoms and how to avoid triggers. If your child suffers from severe food allergy, make sure they always carry medication (usually epinephrine in the form of an EpiPen) in case of an emergency.
- Inform the school
Talk to the school administration, teachers, and the school nurse and inform them about your kid’s allergies. Likewise, make sure you are educated about how the school handles students with allergic symptoms. Most schools are well equipped and have a prepared management plan to deal with severe allergy or asthma symptoms. If you find there is room for improvement, politely recommend an expert or online resources you trust.
- Consider vaccinations
Now more than ever, it is important that your child stays healthy. Speak to your doctor and ask about the influenza and COVID-19 vaccine, as catching a respiratory infection will make allergy and asthma symptoms worse. In case your child suffers from egg allergy, check with your doctor if a given vaccination contains traces of egg protein and whether it is safe to be administered.
- No food swapping
If your child suffers from a food allergy, explain to them why they cannot swap food items with fellow students during lunch. Encourage your child to stick with the lunch you made for them. Try to actively include them when preparing their lunch to make it more exciting for them. This way, sticking with their own food will not be as much of a burden.
- Be inquisitive
If your child keeps having allergy symptoms like allergic rhinitis at school, there could be a specific reason for it. Maybe your kid is sitting too close to the blackboard and is having trouble with inhaling chalky dust? Maybe they are having allergy symptoms because they are allergic to the school pet? Maybe there is a hidden mold issue in the classroom? Talk to your child to figure out when their symptoms typically appear and see if there might be an allergy trigger in or around the classroom that is making their allergies worse.