For parents of food allergy kids, schools can be a scary place. We can protect our children at home, but for most of their day we are trusting others to protect them for us. Are they safe at school? Even if schools claim to be “nut free”, do they really understand what type of commitment that involves?
According to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE), education, communication, and cooperation are the keys to managing food allergies at school.
Today was a good day. I sat in the conference room of my preschooler’s school, along with the school’s Executive Director, Preschool Director, Elementary School Principal, School Nurse, and Dr. Alissa Hersh, a leading Allergist and Immunologist. We all know the food allergy problem is getting worse year by year. We know the statistics. But it hit home when the Preschool Director stated that she is a first-hand witness to the proliferation of food allergies in children. Just a few years ago it was one child in every classroom…now it’s two to three and growing every year.
With the goal of ensuring that my child’s school is truly peanut, tree nut, and sesame free, I witnessed the school’s educators and administrators communicate their complete cooperation and commitment as Dr. Hersh educated them so eloquently and powerfully on the importance of their commitment and the steps they need to be taking.
There’s lots of work to be done. Many changes to implement and rules to enforce. And lots of educating to the educators. They’ve accepted the challenge.
[Here’s a sneak pick at some of the steps they need to take… there are many other steps on top of these.]
Today was a breath of fresh air. I appreciate the school’s genuine interest in helping to protect our children as much as possible. They have a great attitude.
As we battle this epidemic we need more like them.