Managing food allergies in school
Managing allergic reactions and eating at school can be challenging. The number of people with food allergies has increased each year. Schools in many towns have made accommodations relating to the school environment and educational activities. Some students who have severe food allergies may react to the scent or slightest contact to an allergen. However, it is very important that all schools provide epinephrine and that the staff and faculty know how to inject it. It may save your life.
Usually, after school, students participate in sports, aftercare, yearbook, and other clubs. Such activities can also be held in the summer or on weekends. Participating in clubs can be exciting, but you still have to be cautious of your medical conditions.
At student clubs and gatherings, snacks may be provided. Please read the labels. The snacks may contain an allergen. This is another reason why you should bring your epinephrine and Benadryl everywhere you go, along with a phone so you can call a parent or guardian in case of an emergency.
School Field Trips
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a popular lunch on field trips and peanuts are a common allergen. Here are a variety of tips that you can use when you are going on field trips.
Bring a cell phone or other communication device on field trips to use in case of emergencies.
Carry a waist pack or an Epi-Pen Carrying Case for an epinephrine injector.
Let your nurse know about your attendance and food allergies on the field trip.
Those who are really sensitive to foods should perhaps think about sitting on a different bus with other students who have food allergies or other food intolerances.
When I was at FARE's Teen Summit, I was assigned a topic as a part of the Teen Advisory Group: discuss the complications of having food allergies in school. Something that one boy pointed out really caught my eye. At his school, he takes the bus. When the bus is in motion, students tease him about his food allergies and bully him, wiping peanut butter on his seat. There is so much noise that the bus driver doesn't hear everything that happens, including the bullying. Read my bullying section if you are ever in this situation. And here are a few other tips for staying safe on your bus:
-Advise that eating food should be prohibited on the bus
-The school bus should have a communication device in case there is an allergic reaction.
-Advise that school bus drivers should be educated in procedures in case of an emergency.
-Tell someone if you are getting sensitive to a food on the bus so you can get help before you have a serious reaction.