Most parents can understand the fear surrounding sending your child to school for the first time. Until that point you had complete control over everything your child went through, from the moment they woke up, until the moment they went to sleep. However, sending your child to school forces you to separate from them and trust others with their well-being. For many parents, this worry begins to ease after a few days, allowing their children the independence they require in order thrive. However, for parents of children with food allergies, this fear may never go away. With so many possible triggers and reactions, trusting your child in somebody else’s care can be close to impossible.
While you may have the urge to shadow your child for every moment of their life, the truth of the matter is you probably don’t have the ability to do that. However, trusting your child to know what they can and cannot eat can also feel impossible – especially when they’re young. Given this, it is always a good idea to be in contact your child’s school. Explain your child’s allergy to the school and work alongside them to ensure your child’s safety in their classroom. Not only will this assure you that the everyone around your child is aware of their situation, but it will also provide you with the comfort that you are doing everything in your power to ensure your child’s safety.
Children, especially while in the younger grades, are always having some sort of celebration. Whether it be a birthday party, a holiday celebration or a school field trip, there is always something going on. For parents of children with food allergies, these occasions can feel like a minefield – every snack waiting to trigger a terrifying allergic reaction. Given this, it’s important to always have some allergy safe snacks on hand for your child to munch on. Instead of expecting them to sit out of the celebration, or use their judgement and avoid the junk, simply send them along with pre-packed, proven safe, treats of their own.
Despite not wanting to overwhelm your child, it is important that they have a clear understanding of their situation. While you may struggle to trust them and their decision making at a young age, that doesn’t mean that they can’t play a centric role in their own care. At the end of the day, classrooms are filled with children and teachers may not be able to keep a constant watch on your child. By providing your child with knowledge of their allergy and teaching them how to avoid accidentally ingesting it, you may be helping them to avoid an allergic reaction.
Coming to your child’s school with news of an allergy can be overwhelming – for parent, child and teacher. That is why it is recommended to approach this issue with a plan. Instead of showing up with a list of concerns, show up with a list actions you would like to take. You can speak to your allergist about which accommodations would be needed in order to ensure your child’s safety and work with the school to see these accommodations through. Be it a separate, sterile eating area in the lunch room or requesting their classmates avoid eating peanuts, no request is too big when it comes to a child’s safety.
All over the world there are actions being taken and laws being put in place in order to help ensure the safety of people with food allergies. In many places, these laws translate to the classroom. For some it means having a full-time shadow watching over everything they eat, and for others it means moving to a classroom without a pet. No matter what your rights are, it is important that you know them before sending your child to school. For many, the fear of sending a child to a place where they can meet their allergen is struggle enough and having the ability to take advantage of these small changes can help them feel secure.
No matter how much you prepare, the fear of that first day will still be the same. However, it is still important to have a few tricks up your sleeves. Before starting school make sure to contact your pediatrician and allergen. While nothing will ever take your fear completely away, knowing that you are equipped with enough knowledge to help your child, can help. Make sure you give yourself enough time to do this smartly and not too rush through any one of the stages or appointments – after all, it is your child’s health at stake.
All parents know how terrifying sending your children to school can be. Trusting your child to be independent, to be smart and to make the right decisions. However, for parents of children with food allergies, all of these fears get amplified. For some children, just breathing the same air as a peanut, or touching the same table as an egg, can result in anaphylaxis. So, whether you are the parents of a child with a food allergy, or just another parent in the classroom, always make sure to be careful – school should always be a safe place for a child to be.
During our recent visit to Israel, we really struggled to find food for our son who has anaphylactic level allergies to egg and sesame. We approached both restaurants and hotels and were told they were unable or unwilling to take responsibility for preparing his food.
After learning about Dr. Eliana on-line, we contacted her in the hopes that she could provide a ‘normal’ restaurant experience for our family.
Both she and Shani were meticulous in their preparations with the restaurants to ensure that our son had a wonderful and safe experience.
We truly appreciate their efforts to take care of our son, and to provide us with a lovely vacation experience.
T.M., Chicago, USA
We want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing gift you have given us over this Pesach- the gift of having you with us!!!!
We have NEVER felt more comfortable, calm, and at ease than we did these past 10 days. Your warmth, professionalism, kindness, and care shown through in all that you did.
My children are so grateful that they were able to be with you this Pesach. You made sure that they were so well looked after and they felt so at ease and comfortable with you! You were so amazing and approachable to them! And they LOVED all the food you so amazingly prepared (supervised allergy-free food preparation, managed menus) for them!
It’s very difficult for us to trust people when it comes to our kids and allergies. You magically were able to take away ALL of our anxieties, and nervousness (and we don’t give that away so easily!!)
We can never fully thank you enough. We truly feel that you instantly became part of our family and we look forward to G-d willing being able to be with you and plan amazing trips with you many many many more times!!!!
Thank you and may Hashem bless you for the work you do. My son Jacob said your allergy card has been very helpful. I am so grateful- beyond words.
L.R., NY, NY
Thank you for delivering our allergy free baked goods to our hotel. We just tasted the focaccia and it was delicious!
All the best,
S.C., New Jersey
We can't thank you enough for assembling this top-notch team of specialists to work with our daughter while she is in Israel.
T.G., Philadelphia, PA
"Food Allergy Concierge assisted us with a very helpful, detailed customized allergy card in Hebrew. The Allergy card was extremely helpful for multiple allergies and allowed us to eat safely in several eateries and hotels. Highly recommended.”
G.A. Illinois USA