Hands up if you’ve started thinking about back to school preparation? I know I am. I’ve loved having my little man home with me for the holidays, but it will also be great when the new school year begins!
While many of us are thinking about books, bags, shoes and uniforms, there are parents of children with severe food allergies who are rightly worried about how their kids will navigate the school playground and keep safe.
Common food allergies include eggs, nuts and seafood; and even minute exposure to these allergens can bring on severe reactions, like anaphylaxis, that are potentially life threatening.
Symptoms of anaphylaxis include swelling of the tongue and throat; difficulty breathing, dizziness, wheezing and difficulty talking.
Having an action plan for you and your child, developed in consultation with your doctor, is a crucial prevention strategy. Make sure that you tell your child’s school so that they can be prepared. Teachers are trained in using awareness, management, recognition and emergency treatment for anaphylaxis and can be a valuable ally in your action plan.
If your child is exposed to food they are ‘anaphylactic’ to, it must be treated as a medical emergency. Your child will need to be given a shot of adrenalin (through an instrument like an EpiPen) and call 000 immediately.