It’s easy to take care of your kids when they are under your constant supervision.
But, at some point, we have to let them go out into the world and learn to manage their allergies for themselves.
Here is a back to school checklist of things that you can take to help your child as they head back to school or off to camp this year.
- Learn to inject epinephrine. Speak with your child’s doctor about training your child to use an epinephrine auto-injector. Younger kids will need adults to do this at first, but as they grow older and more responsible, children need to learn how to administer the life-saving medication themselves. You can even let them inject an orange when your current stash expires so they understand exactly what to do. Practicing will help make the proper response more automatic in a crisis situation.
- Don’t share food. Though they may have the best intentions, your child’s friends can accidentally hurt your child when they share their snacks or lunch.
- Wear your allergy bracelets. The choices of bracelets, necklaces and even shoe tags are as numerous as the children who need to wear them. Be sure to find one that your kid loves and is not embarrassed to wear.
- Introduce yourself to adults. Teach your child to greet adults and explain their allergies when going to a new place. This includes school. Even though you may talk with your child’s teachers about the allergies, it helps if the educator can put a face to your child’s name.
- Recognize the symptoms of a reaction—and tell someone. Severe allergic reactions require immediate medical attention. Help your child learn to recognize the early symptoms of an allergic reaction. These symptoms may include itching, coughing, chest discomfort or tightness, difficulty breathing, and nausea or vomiting. If these symptoms occur, your child should speak with an adult immediately.