Food allergies are serious business for parents sending students back to school.
Allergist Doctor Gerald Lee explains the best way to avoid problems and the new laws that could help sensitive children.
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The top things to consider when sending an allergic child back to school:
- Know your individual school's policies and procedures regarding food allergic children.
- Inform the teacher and staff about your child's allergies.
- Meet your pediatrician or allergist before school begins to make sure the proper forms are filled out and prescriptions are up to date.
- Educate your child about his/her allergies.
- Be aware of social issues. Children with food allergies are at high risk of bullying and should not be singled out.
There are 3 types of epinephrine injectors on the market:
1. The Epipen
2. Auvi-Q, an injector that is smaller than the epipen and is able to give verbal instructions on its use.
3. Adrenaclick, a generic form of epinephrine that could substitute without the provider's knowledge and works differently from the Epipen and Auvi-Q.
Two noteworthy pieces of legislation to address the issue of food allergy in schools:
1. KY House Bill 172 was signed into law on March 21, 2013. This bill states that students should have an individual written health care plan from their doctor and should have an epinephrine autoinjectors provided by their parent or guardian. In addition, schools are "encouraged" to keep epinephrine in two locations in the school and have proper policies and procedures for a possible allergic reaction.
2. On the national level, on July 30, 2013, H.R. 2094 will give asthma grant preferences to states with policies to make epinephrine available at schools and allow trained personnel to administer the drug. They also would like to introduce polices that would remove the fear of litigation of using this drug if it was thought to be necessary.