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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.

  • Our school manages this well, right up to having photos and instructions of each student with an allergy in the canteen. It does require constant vigilance though and must be very tricky for the student and their family.

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  • Thank you for the article, very concerning.

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  • I was very fortunate that my boys never had any allergies. I hope the schools of children with allergies are always aware of their students medical history

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  • So may kids have allergies indeed these days. Important to have an action plan. And important for the school to raise awareness and have a protocol and to encourage parents to fill the lunchboxes with ‘allergy free food’ and to be considerate also with birthday treats !

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  • So glad this wasn’t an issue when my kids were at school. Even gladder my kids don’t suffer allergies. Scarey experience to have to send your kids off to school wondering if today could be the day they don’t cone home due to allergies :,(

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  • So grateful that so far my kids have not (so far) had any allergies, couldn’t imagine the stress and worry!

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  • Thanks for sharing this incredibly important and informative article. It is essential to have an action plan. Raising awareness is wonderful as we need to care for all children.

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  • I also think we need to thank the parents that do change the lunch boxes for kids with allergies. I know it is not always easy to not put those things in but to value another child’s life over the likes of what your child eats is amazing. So a massive thank you to all the mums that choose to change the lunch boxes

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  • It’s amazing how wide spread allergies are these days compared to,when I went to school.

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  • Scary these days how many kids have allergies, an action plan is a must have in case something goes wrong, thanks for sharing.

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  • Great ideas thank you will take in b consideration

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  • Allergies are such a big thing in the schoolyard these days. But there is so much emphasis on preventing these foods being in the environment.. I don’t think they are teaching the procedures if the children have a reaction should they come into contact with these foods.

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  • alot of kids have allergies, and you do have to be really careful.

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  • I am happy to keep my kids lunch box allergen free. I am so grateful they don’t have allergies themselves, it seems a tiny amount of effort to protect the ones who do.

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  • I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to have a child with allergies

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