If you are the parent of a child who will attend daycare or school in the near future (at a place such as Franciscan Montessori Earth School and Saint Francis Academy), you need to ensure that the facilities are fully aware of your child’s known allergies. New allergies can develop, and when they do, updating the paperwork is important. Some parents forget this crucial step.
Notifying the Center of Allergies
As a parent, you need to ensure that you do not let your list of allergies for your child be limited to foods even if the paperwork only has line items for foods. For example, some children are allergic to latex. Daycare center workers often use gloves to change soiled diapers. If your child has a latex allergy, non-latex gloves should be worn by workers, and this needs to be documented in your child’s file.
Err on the side of caution when it comes to medications too. Most people would like to think that daycare workers would not give their children any type of medications including over-the-counter ones without calling them first. However, there is a chance that it could happen. So, if your child is allergic to ibuprofen or other over-the counter medications, ensure it is documented in their file.
Review your child’s file every six months to make sure allergy information is correct. Update any new allergies as they appear.
Allergies Discovered During School Hours
You may even find that the school notifies you that your child may be allergic to a certain food or substance that you were unaware of. For example, blueberries could be a snack given at school. You may have never given your child blueberries, and therefore you would likely be unaware of a potential allergy. Refer this type of unknown allergic response to your child’s pediatrician even if it is a mild allergic response, and your child appears to be fine when you pick them up.
Protecting Your Child
Some children may have mild symptoms from being exposed to allergens, but others could have a severe reaction, which may cause a potentially deadly response referred to as anaphylaxis. The latter have likely had episodes in the past that prompted their pediatricians to prescribe epinephrine.
If your child has been prescribed this medication, ensure that the center has the medication on-hand. All parents should keep in mind that children who have only had minor reactions to certain substances could have anaphylactic episodes to the same substances in the future. You may want to consider speaking with your child’s pediatrician about epinephrine if your child has had mild and moderate allergic reactions.
Some parents choose to take their children for allergy tests. This is a reliable way to get a comprehensive list of things your child is allergic to. These tests are very helpful when it obvious that someone is allergic to something, but it is unknown what is causing the allergic responses.