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15 Tips for Back to School Children with Allergies

Going back to school is an exciting time in the calendar, however it can also be a daunting experience for parents of school children with allergies. You’re no longer in direct control of the environment that your child is in, and that’s not easy. 

So many questions go through the minds of allergy parents:

What’s in other kids lunchboxes?

Do other parents understand?

Can I trust the teacher?

These are just some of the thoughts on the mind of allergy parents, and we’ve prepared a list with our 15 Tips for Back to School Children with Allergies.

Back to school Tips


Meet with your child’s teacher, school nurse, cafeteria manager and other key staff. Make sure you let them know about your child’s food allergies, and discuss ways in which they can support your child to keep them safe.


Be clear on the school’s guidelines for managing pupils with food allergies. Check whether they have a policy in place, and build a relationship with the member of staff who is responsible for enforcing it.


Deliver your child’s emergency care plan and medication(s) on or before the first day of school. It’s a good idea to arrange a meeting with the school staff to discuss your child’s food allergies in advance of your child starting school.


There’s lots of interaction points in the school day. Discuss your child’s needs throughout the school day in different areas, including the classroom, cafeteria, playground and school bus.


Be prepared. Work on an emergency care plan for your child, and share this with everyone who comes in contact with him or her.


Plan ahead and understand who is trained to give your child’s medication in the event of an emergency. It’s important to build strong relationships with the school staff, and work with them to ensure that you have their support, and they understand the importance of managing food allergies.


The cafeteria is one of the highest risk areas for food allergies, as food is being served and children are mixing with others at tables. Check that the cafeteria staff have been trained on safe food preparation for food allergies, and make sure they understand what measures to take to protect your child from food allergies.


Get to know the parents of other children in your child’s class, and explain your child’s food allergies to them. This will help other parents to understand the risks, and hopefully they will make considered choices to help protect your child.


Speak with your school to understand whether they can implement rules such as no food sharing or hand washing after eating or handling food in the classroom.


Discover where food will be kept, where your child will eat and who will oversee meals or snacks. The school environment is a real threat for children living with food allergies, make sure that the school understand the various risks and manage these.


Ask to be given advanced noticed about school trips and other events, and make sure you work with the school to plan packed lunches or food provisions.


Educate your child and keep reminding them to avoid eating any food where the ingredients are unknown, such as home-baked goods.


Never be afraid to ask questions and reach out to your child’s teacher. Make sure you keep in regular contact with your child’s teacher and talk about your child’s food allergies. Check-in with your child’s teacher to see how things are going, this will help to build your confidence.


Sadly food allergy bullying happens in schools, be mindful about this and always be on the lookout for signs that your child might be experiencing bullying or teasing because of his or her food allergy.


Reach out to other allergy parents and share your concerns, best practices and any other tips you might have. Being an allergy parent we can only learn and support each other to make the school environment safer for those living with food allergies.

Over to You!

We’d love to hear from you, do you have any tips that you’d like to share, or any experiences that you think will help other allergy parents? Reach out and share your stories, it’s a great way to help raise awareness.

We hope that all your children make a great transition to going back to school this year, and are happy and stay safe!


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