Sending your allergic child to preschool

February 12, 2006 at 11:35 am (social issues)

I wrote this article originally last fall. I was surprised to see it only had a one-star rating today. I wonder why. How odd, especially considering it was one of the two articles I submitted that got me the job. Hrmm.

Would you go give it a good rating, if you like it?

Here’s the text:

Sending Your Food Allergic Child to Preschool

Feeling confident about the big change just takes a little preparation

By Go-To Mom Leslea, New Albany, IN


Mom Know-How

A lot of kids with food allergies have parents that suffer too — from stress, that is! After having guarded your precious baby to keep him away from peanuts, wheat, milk (or whatever the culprit food may be), you must now send him to preschool for a bit of socialization, education, and hopefully a whole lot of fun.

To rest assured that your child will be safe and allergy-free there, here are some things you can do:

1. Consult local allergy support groups for preschool referrals. If you don’t have a local group, check online resources such as groups.yahoo.com/group/POFAK or the message boards at peanutallergy.com. Even if you don’t find a local referral, you will definitely find sympathetic parents of kids with food allergies who can help you make your way through this rite of passage without losing your sanity.
2. Interview the director of your chosen school, as well as the staff. Are they familiar with food allergies? How do they currently deal with the 4 to 6 percent of students who have special dietary needs?

3. Make sure your epi-pens are not outdated, and that the staff at your child’s school knows how to use them.

4. Accidents can happen. In the case of anaphylactic food allergies, these mistakes can be deadly. Have a procedure in place in case something goes wrong, and make sure the staff is going to cooperate. Periodically check to make sure any new staff members are “up to snuff” on the details of your emergency plan.

5. Remember: Your child is never too young to start learning how to deal with her own food allergies. Involve her in her care by discussing menus together, checking epi-pens, and talking about popular snack foods that are off-limits.

Preschool can be a real treat when it’s a good fit between the child, the school, the teacher, and the parents. It’s worth the effort you’ll put into it, not just to keep her safe, but to provide her with a fun-filled day of activities that will help her grow mentally and emotionally.

Here’s the link to give it a rating: Clubmom. article on preschool

While you’re there, also check out the vacation tips article, which I read on an episode of Allergy News, and I have posted about here more than once!  🙂 I really think it’s important to think your trip over before you leave town.

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Speaking of which, I have a lot of great stories for the next Allergy News!

Don’t forget to submit your top ten allergy mistakes, as requested in the entry below.

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