If your child has food allergies, you may be accustomed to taking the necessary precautions and managing allergic reactions. When your child is in child care, you will no longer be there to prevent or respond to their food allergies. Your child is too young for you to rely on them to manage their own health; therefore close communication is key.
Here are six ways to help a childcare program or provider help manage your child's food allergies.
- When possible select a caregiver that has had training on how to recognize and respond to food allergies.
- Pack all of your child's meals. Ask the program director or provider not to feed your child anything without your approval.
- Prepare a written emergency treatment plan to be followed in the event your child has an allergic reaction. You should include a list of all allergens, signs of an allergic reaction, and types and doses of medications to be used. Identify a protocol for an emergency; be sure to include contact information for you and your child's doctor.
- Ask the child care program to make sure all potential providers are aware of your child's allergies and that they have access to the written emergency treatment plan.
- Have your child wear a MedicAlert bracelet.
- Ask your providers to discourage the practice of food sharing. They should be particularly alert during special events such as picnics or parties.