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  • 27 Aug 2014

    'Back to School' with food allergies? Here are some useful tips and free downloads to help

    Posted: 27 Aug 2014

    It's the end of the school summer holidays and that means it's time to get organised. Groan. 

    I'm hoping that you haven't spent too long in the supermarket aisles fighting for the last scrap of school uniform, and did the annual shoe fitting at Clark's go well?! Good. So now let's focus on the important allergy stuff.

    Get a free allergy action plan template
    Whether your school is really clued up about allergies or your child is just starting in Reception, I've found some fab allergy action plans for you to give to your child's teacher. There's a general allergy action plan if your child doesn't need an auto-injector, and specific plans for children using EpiPen, Jext or Emerade. They've been produced by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, in conjunction with Allergy UK and Anaphylaxis Campaign. Click on the link to get a free allergy action plan template.

    Check expiry dates and sign up for the EpiPen or Jext's expiry alert service
    If your child uses an auto-injector, make sure you check the expiry date and ensure that you have at least one to leave with the school, as well as two for home. If your child uses a EpiPen, it's worth registering here with EpiPen's expiry alert service OR here for Jext's expiry alert service. By doing so you'll be sent a text when the expiry date draws near. One less thing to think about, right?!

    Stock the 'treat tin' with goodies
    Like it or not, sweets, treats and cakes will make it into your child's classroom. The teacher might offer sweets as rewards (sooo last century, but it still happens) or a parent will send in cakes to celebrate their child's birthday with the class. So being prepared is the only way. Buy a stock of your child's favourite treats and ask the teacher to store them in a 'treat tin' in the classroom. It's also worth having a batch of cakes in your freezer for emergencies!

    Download my epic allergy letter templates for teachers and other parents
    I've saved the best tip for last. As your child starts a new term, how can you get the word out to other parents, and the teacher, about your child's allergies and ask for their help? 

    You print off my awesome allergy letter templates and get your child to fill them in.

    There are two letters I've added my creative flair too; one for your child's teacher and one for the other parents in the class. They give a clear explanation about your child's allergy and they ask for advance warning if food is going to be sent into the classroom or used as part of a classroom activity. You can also add your contact details so that parents/the teacher can easily contact you.

    They're a brilliant way to start waving the allergy flag from day one and also a good way to get chatting with other parents in the playground. I call that a slam dunk, high-five-me-now allergy result!

    If you're a fan of the allergy letter templates, let me know and spread the love! Share your comments with me on Facebook or Twitter.

    A final freebie treat… the new school curriculum comes into play this term which involves lots more practical cooking lessons for children. Therefore you can also download and print off these simple Allergy Baking Substitution Sheets to hand to your child's teacher, which easily explains how to make recipes allergy friendly.

    I'm afraid I haven't got any top tips for finding a parking space on the school run, or obliterating first day nerves but if you have any other 'back to school allergy tips', let me have 'em! 

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