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.