Food Allergy Awareness Program
Education on the dangers of food allergies could always be better in school, and in the world!
1. I asked the principal of my daughter’s elementary school ( Babylon Elementary School) if I could meet with her and the school nurse, to review their Allergy procedures. In doing this, we all realized that the procedures they had in place could really use refining, and we quickly got to work.
2. We developed a " no nut" policy that made sense by asking parents to log on to http://snacksafely.com/snacklist.pdf
and pick a snack from the list, instead of sending snacks with a clear allergy warning on the label. This list changes frequently. You should log on every week for updates!
3. You will need to call the PTA and schedule a meeting to present this idea. We have found that most PTAs are really receptive to this idea.
4. Then we thought about where and how their EPI pens follow the child. ( Elementary School children cannot be responsible for their own EPI pen). We decided on a daily log for the EPI pens. Wherever the child goes, the log book will show her EPI pen followed her.
5. We implemented a 504 Food Allergy Plan. This is done by contacting the school psychologist, to set up an " Eligibility Determination Meeting". They will guide you every step of the way in this process.
6. Then we realized that there needs to be a medical "GO BAG" near the exits so that if there is a fire drill, or lock down, the EPI Pen, the medical info on the child, and anything necessary to keep them safe needs to be grabbed before leaving the building for any reason.... Inside theRed Backpack called a " Go Bag" is......
EPI pens, a picture and medical sheet on every allergy child. A listing with all parent contact info.
60 assorted sizes of bandages
1 bio-waste bag
15 antiseptic BZK towelettes
3 cold packs
2 combine pads 5" x 9"
1 CPR Life mask
2 - 3x5 elastic bandages
2 eye pads
1 eyewash solution 4 oz.
1 first aide guide
5 gauze pads 2 x 2 sterile
5 gauze pads 4 x 4 sterile
5 packets of Hydro cortisone cream
2 pressure bandages 4 x 4 sterile
1 rescue "space" blanket
2 gauze rolls 4" x 4 yds.
1 paramedic scissors
6 sting relief towelettes
1 tape 1" x 10 yds.
2 triangular bandages 40" x 40"
10 triple antibiotic ointment packets
2 way radios
Typically, there is only 1 school nurse, and what if the nurse is on 1 side of the building, and the child having a reaction is on the other side of the building??? They need to be in instant communication, and the nurse needs to get to the child
( that's the reason for the 2 way radios)
Now for the Food and supplies...
7. Most times all lunches are put in a bin and taken down to the cafeteria in the Elementary school. This is not acceptable for an allergy child. All Food ... And even some school supplies need to be kept separated from other children's. They also need to be separated for field trips.
The Food Allergy Bag shown here serves a dual purpose.
It is used for nut allergy students lunches, and also for field trips.
Please log on here for the very extensive list of products containing allergens that you never knew you had to worry about as an allergy parent.
8. Our organization has also equipped each classroom with the following premium hardcover book for all rooms in the Elementary School . It will be written into the library curriculum for Elementary school aged children.
You can log on here and ask for a book donation!
9. We are now working with Food Services in Babylon Elementary to ensure all snacks and food are safe for the new school year come September 2015. We are also sending out samples of WOW butter ( www.wowbutter.com) and SUN BUTTER
( www.sunbutter.com) as a peanut butter alternative to every parent and literature on the dangers of food allergies. The school can log on and request samples!
10. Each teacher ( via the nurse) is also trained on how to use BOTH EPI pens. This will ensure all EPI pens and EPI Pen Jrs will be used correctly. There will also be a training on the AUVI-Q EPI pen. This specific type of EPI pen talks to ensure you administer it properly. ( www.auvi-q.com)
The training module we used to do this is found here. http://www.allergyhome.org/schools/
On October 30,2014 a very important piece of legislation was signed in NYS. Schools are now allowed to administer EPI Pens if a child is experiencing a life threatening allergic reaction, even without prescription. This bill can be viewed here. Please read it in its entirety.
This enables schools to have EPI Pens available at all times including this emergency cabinet that can be found here.
We have also been in contact with the NYS Education department on this important issue, and will continue to make strides in raising awareness.
11. Children with food allergies should always wear a Medical ID bracelet, and it doesn't have to be plain. Check out this website that has hundreds of really cool medical ID wear for boys and girls.
12. We realize that food allergies are on the rise, and we need to educate Middle Schools and High Schools as well.
Here is a very powerful video that shows " It's not a joke...Its Serious"
We feel that by educating on the dangers of food allergies, we can help people understand how severe and serious it really is. If you need any additional information, or have any questions, please feel free to contact us, and we will happily help you!
We know this process is overwhelming.