August 2013

By Madonna Behen, Parade magazine – 8/17/2013

1. Create an action plan. Studies indicate that up to 25 percent of first-time allergic reactions occur in school. If food allergy guidelines are already in place at your child’s school, then your plan might simply list the foods to which he’s allergic; any possible signs of a reaction; the kind of treatment he should receive; and contact information for his allergist. If they’re not, many advocates suggest developing a more detailed strategy (called a “504 Plan”) with school officials outlining how to address your child’s specific needs. (To learn more about creating a plan, go to foodallergy.org.)

2. Prepare for the worst. “Food allergy reactions are not predictable,” says Maria Acebal, a board member of the national organization Food Allergy Research & Education. “Even if your son or daughter has had only minor reactions in the past, that doesn’t mean the next one won’t be severe.”

3. Beware of bullying. Nearly one-third of kids with food allergies are bullied in school because of them, and these threats often involve food, according to a recent survey by researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. One way parents can help prevent bullying, says Kelly Rudnicki, founder of foodallergymama.com, is by asking their child’s teacher to send home a letter to “educate classmates and their parents about how food allergies are truly a life-threatening health issue—not something to joke about.”

If you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads, and your child may be suffering from food allergies and allergic reactions at school, please call us at any of our 3 locations listed below. Our Allergists are here to help you, and can also assist with a school 504 Plan for a food allergy.

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About Allergy & Asthma Specialists
Our Allergists specialize in diagnosing and treating food allergies and allergic reactions, as well as developing a child’s 504 Plan for school. We serve patients in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Hampton Roads.