Children are known for getting their hands on things they shouldn’t–but
the most dangerous of all could be nuts, fruits, and other foods that
your child might be allergic to. For parents with children who have severe
allergies, these dreaded foods can be the source of fear and apprehension
when sending your child out into the world. Nut allergies, in particular,
have been on the rise. A study published last year in the
JAMA Pediatrics journal showed that the percentage of children suffering from peanut allergies
in the US has triped since 1997 to 2010. These reactions can be fatal,
even from simple exposure to trace amounts. What can you do as a parent
to keep your child safe in the face of these allergens? Keep these legal
tips in mind:
Notify your child’s school about your child’s allergy and medication.
Although schools are becoming increasingly aware of potential problems
involving food allergies, providing school staff with specific information
about your child’s allergies and any medications that may be necessary
is essential. This puts the school on notice and allows the school to
take the necessary precautions during school activities, such as educating
other students and their parents regarding the dangers of sharing food
that may contain traces of these substances. Do not rely on your child
and hope that they will inform their teachers.
Know your school’s food allergy management policy. In addition to
educating the school’s staff about your child’s allergies,
educate yourself about the school’s allergy management policy; they
may be similar to these voluntary guidelines presented by the CDC. If
your child’s school doesn’t have a clear allergy management
policy, consider providing an emergency care plan on your own.
Provide your child with an EpiPen. Shots of the drug epinephrine, available
in EpiPens, can save the life of a child or other individual suffering
from a severe allergic reaction. Children may carry their own EpiPens
in case of emergency, but increasingly, schools are keeping EpiPens on
hand as well. Laws in many states now mandate schools have their own EpiPens
available for emergency use. It is still best to have your child carry
their own EpiPen so that it is readily available. Make sure your child
knows how to use it and feels comfortable in the case of an emergency.
Finally, remember that in the unfortunate event your child suffers an allergic
reaction while at school or during a school event, the school can be held
liable if officials fail to act in the best interests of your child. If
you have had issues dealing with school officials or fear that your child
is not being legally protected in face of his or her allergies, contact
the Kyle Law Firm today.