Food Allergies and Preschool: Steps for Parents to Take
The majority of parents rely on outside help to care for their children. In fact, one-third of all young children receive care from non-relatives on a regular basis. That means that choosing the right preschool is of the utmost importance. Not only does the local preschool program you pick need to provide the best education, but the facility also needs to be safe for your child.
Certainly, you’ll need to evaluate the security of any given preschool classroom and ensure staff members know how to act in the event of an emergency. But if your child has food allergies, it’s even more essential to be proactive. You’ll want to establish a plan that will allow your child to avoid allergens and make sure they have what they need in the event of accidental exposure. Here are some critical steps parents should take before their preschoolers head off to the classroom.
- Schedule a Check-Up: Before preschool starts, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician or allergist. Not only will this ensure that your child has enough of the medication they need, but it will also help to illuminate what you’ll require from staff members at your child’s school. If your child’s current care plan should be amended or you have questions about how to keep your child safe at school, your family doctors will serve as excellent resources.
- Evaluate Your Preschool Program: Prior to enrolling your child in a preschool program, it’s vital to take a close look at the facility. Private and public preschools have different regulations to follow, but all preschool children should be subject to the same caliber of care — especially when it comes to potential food allergens. Talk to the staff at your preschool program of choice and examine preschool classrooms for any red flags. You should discuss whether this is a nut-free facility or whether there’s a chance your child could be exposed to anything that could put them at risk. Ask whether staff members are trained to recognize signs of allergic reactions and who is allowed to administer treatment, as well as the existing protocols relating to emergency plans, hand-washing, allergen avoidance, and more. If the school doesn’t have definitive policies (or theirs don’t align with your needs), this isn’t the right facility for your family.
For many families, it’s not enough to enroll their child in a school that will provide them with a stellar education. It’s also imperative that the school does everything possible to prioritize specialized safety. For more information on how we can ensure your child’s educational journey is a healthy one, contact us today.