Food Allergy Resources for the Elementary Classroom Teacher

Preparing for Food Allergies in the Classroom

Helping you prepare for a safe, and inclusive school year. I have gathered my favorite materials, books, snack lists, links, safety information, and training for the classroom teacher.  As a former teacher and a food allergy parent, I know how overwhelming it can be everyone.  I hope this list makes it a bit easier for you, your child, and your child's classroom teacher.


List of Accommodations:

Your Child's 504 Plan
Make sure that your child's teacher has a printed copy of the accommodations that are necessary to keep your child safe, and included in the classroom.


If you do not have a 504 Plan, make sure that you do have an Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) in place with an included Emergency Plan. Have that printed out and given to your teacher as well. Make a list of accommodations needed for safety, and inclusion in the classroom, and go over the list with the principal, and teacher to make sure that it is all agreed upon.


Wondering what plan is best for your child?  Here is a great Q&A on the topic of 504 Plans and IHCPs from FARE
http://blog.foodallergy.org/tag/inclusion/

Printed Emergency Plan:

FARE's Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan (also included in 504, or IHCP)
FARE's plan outlines the symptoms of mild allergic reactions to anaphylaxis, and lets the teacher know what to do for each possible type of reaction. This can be printed out for each teacher, nurse, food service, and staff member who will be watching your child.   *I use wallet sized photos (school photos may work) to attach to each plan. I like the idea of having a color photo on each as they are more recognizable.

Book for Preparing Student, and Teacher:

The No Biggie Bunch's "Everyday Cool With Food Allergies"
This is a great book for food allergies as it teaches your child food allergy safety, as well as illustrating food allergy safety points for the teacher.  It explains why reading labels, hand washing, safe snacks and other safety measures are important for your child, and teacher. It is written the highly respected food allergist Dr. Michael Pistiner.  This book can be read by the teacher and child together to make sure that they both know the food allergy safety rules, and why they are important.

Downloadable book for the Teacher:

From the NEA Health Information Network (HIN) National Education Association http://neahealthyfutures.org/get-informed/student-physical-health/anaphylaxis/managing-severe-allergies-strategies-for-prevention/

Posters for the Classroom:

Order, or print off a few posters yourself for the classroom
My own Free Printable 8x10 peanut/tree-nut free, or dairy free posters
From FARE: Be a Pal poster for team building, and allergy education
From KidsCanHaveFun: Free printable signs for almost any food allergy, table signs and more
From AllergyHome.com: Cool Allergy Awareness Posters 

How to Read Food Labels for Food Allergies: 

Print this out for your teacher:
From FARE: Printable pages "Tips for Avoiding Your Allergen"

Safe Snacks/Treats:

A list of safe snacks that your child can have complete with brand names and a notice to check each label every time as companies can change ingredients at any time.
* For Peanut, Tree-nut, and Egg Allergies http://www.SnackSafely.com has a great routinely updated list of safe snacks, treats, and candy. 
* For other allergies, make your own list of safe snacks, candies, and treats, and update it as needed.
* Attach list to safe box of snacks and treats for the classroom.
* Keeping a stash of shelf stable treats in the safe snack box, or frozen cupcakes at the school is an easy way to stay prepared for school birthdays if food treats are served.
* Candy is often used as incentives or prizes, so having a bag of safe candy in the safe snack box is also a good idea.
You can also add a handout like the one I made to be put into the sub folder, and printed for specials teachers: Food Allergy Alert
*Safe Snack Box: A box, or plastic container with a lid for safe snacks, and treats.




Food Allergy Books for the Teacher to Read to the Class:


Joey Panda and His Food Allergies Save the Day: A Children's Book 


The Bugabees: Friends With Food Allergies 


Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel 


Mangos for Max 


Patty's Secret: A Tale About Living with Food Allergies  


Food Allergies and Me: A Children's Book


Food Allergy Videos for the Class:




Arthur: Binky Goes Nuts (2007) 


Alexander the Elephant Who Couldn't Eat Peanuts (Human Peanut Allergies) (1994)

List of Possible Allergens in Classroom Materials:

Make sure the teacher has this list printed for them:
http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/resourcespre.php?id=83

Letters to Parents of Classmates:

For severe allergies, you may need the teacher to send home a letter to the other parents. The letter can explain the severity of the food allergy, and the accommodations that they can help with to keep your child safe and included in the classroom, class parties, birthdays, and projects.  If needed, it can also include a list of safe snacks, and/or food free treats.  After reading a few samples, I wrote my own, and emailed it to the teacher who made it her own with slight changes, approved it, and then it went out to the parents in my daughter's classroom.


Sample Letters:

http://www.healthy-kids.info/images/school_letters_FA.pdf

http://www.protectallergickids.org/teacherltr.html

http://maine.gov/education/sh/allergies/allergysampleletter.pdf

https://www.anaphylaxis101.com/Resource-Library/School-Forms-and-Checklists.aspx

List Of Food Free Treats for Birthdays and Rewards:

Print a list of ideas for your child's teacher, and other parents. http://teacherweb.com/CT/MauroSheridanInterdistrictMagnet/SchoolHomePage/Non-food-celebrations-and-reward-ideas-for-elementary-schools.pdf


Food Allergy Training for Classroom Teachers:

This is a great training module for you to share with the teacher!
It is from www.kidswithfoodallergies.org
http://www.allergyhome.org/schools/management-of-food-allergies-in-school-what-school-staff-need-to-know/


Epipen: How to use an Epipen
https://www.epipen.com/en/about-epipen/how-to-use-epipen

Educating the Whole Class, and Team Building:

Email your child's teacher a link to this program!
FARE's Be a PAL: Protect a Life education program is a wonderful way to teach the entire class about food allergies, and looking out for each other!



I hope that you have a fantastic, fun, safe, and inclusive school year!

4 comments:

Carol Eatman said...

Please post how to order the recent peanut and tree nut allergy awareness poster and others. The post says "order" but can't find out how. Thanks.

elizabeth marz said...

Hi Carol!
You can order posters from FARE's website, or if you would like the posters that I have made, click on the following link and print the posters as 8x10 posters for free from your home or school printer, or save the image to a memory stick, CD etc and have a larger version printed at a print shop such as Walgreens or OfficeMax etc.

Let me know if this is still confusing! Thanks!

Here is the link: http://thrivingwithallergies.blogspot.com/p/helpfu.html

elizabeth marz said...

I have not set up a shop to sell my posters. My posters are at this point just for free self printing, saving on a memory stick/CD to be printed at a print shop, or saving and sending to a online printer like www.snapfish.com, Walgreens.com, Walmart.com etc. They will print as 8x10 but can be printed larger if needed.

Let me know if I can help further!

Thanks!

John Smith said...

Great post, thank you for sharing such a nice post.

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