This is a guest post, from our partners at FARE, Food Allergy Research & Education, the leading non-profit who work on behalf of the 15M Americans who have food allergies.
Sending your young children to preschool can be especially stressful when they have food allergies. For children with food allergies, providing a safe and nurturing environment at preschool and daycare requires planning and effort on the part of the school and parents. To help with these special childhood stages, FARE can point you to helpful resources, such as:
- Preschools and daycare centers that receive federal funds are required to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 allows you to create, in collaboration with the school, a 504 Plan, which is a written management plan outlining how the school will address the individual needs of your child, and allow your child to participate safely and equally alongside his/her peers during all normal facets of the school day.
- Children at the preschool age frequently put hands/objects in their mouths, making cleaning and prevention strategies critical.
- Hands-on learning and motor skill development activities often use non-food materials, which can potentially contain allergens. Working with the teacher and school staff is key to preventing exposures and including the child.
“Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs”
Published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), these guidelines seek to protect the physical and emotional health of students with food allergies by providing practical information and strategies for schools while reinforcing federal laws and regulations. Download the guidelines >
Webinar Recording: “Managing Food Allergies in the Early Care Setting”
In case you missed it, FARE’s July 2014 webinar featured this presentation by Gina Mennett Lee and Laurel Francoeur, which addresses the important roles of both the parents and child care/education providers in creating a successful learning environment for children with food allergies. They discuss current research, best practices, recommendations from the CDC guidelines and practical management tips, as well as the rights of children with food allergies and applicable laws. View the webinar >
Twigtale: Custom Book About Your Child and Food Allergies
FARE has partnered with Twigtale to create a new, customizable book to help young children better understand their food allergies. As with Twigtale’s other titles, this collaboration between FARE and Twigtale provides parents with expert scripted language with plenty of options to personalize so that parents can educate their children about their individual food allergies and help them through transitions such as going off to preschool or kindergarten. The easy-to-use online template lets you create a customized book with photos and details about your child that you can use to help them understand their food allergy and important rules to keep them safe. A portion of the proceeds from sales of these custom food allergy books will be donated to FARE to support food allergy education, research, advocacy and awareness initiatives. Learn More >
NameBubbles: Allergy Caution Labels
NameBubbles’ new stick-on labels are designed to alert the reader that they provide critical medical information about a child’s food allergy. A portion of the proceeds from sales of these labels will be donated to FARE. Learn more on the NameBubbles website.
Wearing medical identification at all times can help keep your child safe in case of an allergic reaction, as well as alert others that your child has a life-threatening medical condition. The MyVoice program provides a 10 percent discount on MedicAlert memberships as well as $10 off a medical identification bracelet for both adults and children through FARE. Learn more on the MedicAlert website.
Guest Post: Resources for Starting Preschool With Food Allergies was originally published on August 27, 2014. Modifications to style, arrangement, and linked sources were made on December 10, 2015.