How well your school age child deal with allergies will have a direct effect on the success of their school year. Since there is no cure for allergies boosting their confidence in handling this life-long problem is essential. Here are 5 things you can do to reduce their anxieties about this condition.
Make School Personnel Aware— It’s a good idea to personally make key people at school aware of your child’s allergies, especially if they are moderate to severe. You can follow up by sending a note, but nothing beats telling people face to face about your child. Make contact with the school nurse, teachers for the year, principals and the school secretary and janitorial staff.
Grade-level teachers change from year to year so it’s especially important to include those teachers that you’re your child sees year after year. They include people such as the librarian, art, music and physical education teachers as well as cafeteria personnel.
Pick A Buddy— This usually works with older students. Have your child choose one friend in the class (or each class) who agrees to get help if your student is unable to do it themselves. This friend would simply agree to tell an adult that there is a problem.
Create A Plan— Sit down with your student and create a plan of action. Talk about what to do if symptoms start outside, in an assembly, in the cafeteria, or at a fire drill. Use role play to act out some likely scenarios so that if a situation should actually happen, it would be less stressful.
Hopefully, the plan would get help faster and minimize the seriousness of the situation. Involve the designated buddy in these role plays so that they also feel prepared to help.
Consult Your Physician— This is a must for those who suffer with moderate to severe conditions. Using the doctor to get ideas for minimizing attacks, prescribing medications for acute flare-ups, and serving as a contact for school personnel for situations that occur during the school day is an important connection to have.
If preventative medication or short-term medication for flare-ups is recommended a note from the physician and parent allowing your child to take medication at school will be necessary.
Stay In Touch— If your child’s allergies are food-related, reminding teachers and other parents about it can prevent problems for your child at snack time and on special days when food is provided for the class.
Likewise, if your child’s allergies are triggered by airborne allergens, knowing what the air quality rating is each day before they go to school is crucial. Dry windy days tend to be more problematic. Writing a note to teachers to ask that outdoor activities be curtailed for that day can help your child avoid problems.