Bringing food allergy management and awareness to your community

TEST – anything here can be erased

Challenges Challenge:Specifics Potential Solutions
  • Not enough time for food allergy education
  • Inadequate school nurse coverage
  • Many school nurses are only given short periods of time with staff, parents, and students (limited by busy staff development schedules, orientation schedules, and curriculum requirements.
  • Limited time in nurses day to meet with staff, parents, and students.
  • Maximize the time that you do have (eg. group vs individual training).
  • Discuss time needs with administration. If possible, reference specific time allotment cited by policy recommendations and guidelines
  • Use food allergy management and education as a platform for lobbying against cuts in school nurse coverage and time.
  • Food allergy policies  unpopular among staff, parents, and students
  • Old habits die hard, especially in schools that only recently implemented policies. This is apparent when it comes to bake sales, food for celebrations, cultural events etc.
  • Consider meeting with administration to coordinate roll out of new policies.
  • Attempt to have a clear and unified message.
  • Remind all parties of the fact that certain prevention and preparedness strategies and issues are necessary. These policies are not arbitrary or personal preference.
  • Consider having allergist, physician, or educator meet /speak to school community.
  • Remind your community, “don’t kill the messenger.”
  • Varying supervising bodies for different school staff (not all staff answer to the same administrative group)
  • In some schools, various staff members such as bus drivers, maintenance or food service staff may not fall under the same administrative body as the rest of the staff.
  • Some staff may not attend the same staff development sessions and have different amounts of time that are allowed to be allocated to their specific training.
  • Unions may have regulations that need to be considered when requesting training time.
  • Meet with each group. See if all can coordinate for a single meeting.
  • Consider use of training tools that can be used “on own time” or individual sessions.
  • See if training tools can be reviewed during staff development.
  • Have close working relationship with administration and the staff.
  • Individuals that ignore policies
  • Sometimes, despite excellent and organized attempts to educate and communicate, some individuals do not comply with school policies
  • Be consistent with your expectations.
  • Do not let certain things slide.
  • Use federal, state and local guidelines as an excuse and remind parents that it is not your call, its safe practice.
  • Enlist the assistance of administration and nursing leadership.
  • Remind the community, “don’t kill the messenger.”
  • Parents or students that don’t agree with content of food allergy education
  • At times there will be families that don’t believe that the current education or implemented policies are stringent enough.
  • Alternatively, some may make recommendations that are restrictive and difficult to implement.
  • Base all education content on available state and federal guidance documentation.
  • Use food allergy educational resources.
  • Enlist the assistance of school nurse leadership and /or the child’s healthcare provider.
  • Consider 504 when child’s needs are unable to be met
  • Fear of singling out or embarrassing the student
  • Concern of releasing confidential health information
  • Issues may arise when a student does not want to be singled out and similarly confidential health information should be protected. While having classroom lesson centered to the individual child with allergies may work well, in some cases it may make the child uncomfortable
  • Implement universal teaching to all students based on the present need of children in general in the school, not to the needs of individuals.
Basic Facts/School Rules Prevention Preparedness Social/Emotional
Elementary School Students
  • Food allergies need to be taken seriously
  • Kids with food allergies need to do things a bit differently
  • Discuss common symptoms
  • Review classroom and school food allergy rules
  • “If you can’t read it don’t eat it”
  • Someone reads label
  • No sharing
  • Hand washing
  • Saying “No Thank you”
  • General concept of cross contact
  • Report exposures
  • Report symptoms
  • Get help
  • Introduction to emergency medicine/epinephrine
  • Feelings
  • “Tell your friends”
  • “Support your friends”
  • Never bully
  • Take care of each other
Middle & High School Students
  • More in depth and developmentally targeted version of the above
  • Reinforce the importance of compliance with rulesgentle discussion of allergy related deaths and risk taking behavior
  • As above
  • Routes of exposure and associated risks
  • Reading labels
  • Labelling laws and their pitfalls
  • Hidden ingredients
  • Sources and prevention of cross contact
  • As above
  • Recognizing anaphylaxis
  • How to administer an autoinjector
  • Contacting EMS (present in developmentally and age appropriate fashion)
  • As above
  • More in depth and developmentally targeted version of the above
  • No tolerance for bullying
  • Social and emotional impact of food allergies
  • Dating/kissing
  • Consider danger of alcohol (impaired judgement)
Parents: Food allergic & Non-food allergic
  • As above
  • Reinforce and support school policies based on facts
  • As above
  • Specific discussion as related to classroom and school policies and in case of hosting a party or playdate
  • Communicate with family
  • As above
  • Specific discussion as related to drop off parties and playdates
  • As above
  • Encourage supportive environment
  • Encourage positive communication
  • Encourage parents to discuss being supportive with their children
School Staff
  • As above
  • Role in allergy prevention and emergency plan
  • Frank discussion of allergy related deaths
  • Recognition of 1st time allergic rxns
  • As above
  • Common hidden ingredients
  • Purchasing food items
  • Risks in various school settings (Field trips, classrooms, cafeterias, school bus, etc.)
  • As above
  • Demonstrate administration
  • Regular practice with trainer
  • Comfort with food allergy emergency action plan
  • As above
  • Foster empathetic environment
  • Maintain confidentiality

All information contained on the website is intended for informational and educational purposes. The information provided on this website is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for professional medical advice. Any information that you have received from should be verified with your licensed health care provider. Furthermore, decisions regarding medical care should not be based solely upon the content of this website but made after discussions with your health care provider. Consumers should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice due to the content of this site.

Your use of this site does not create a patient-physician relationship between you and

Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this site or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this site or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.

Please note that AllergyHome is not affiliated with Boston Children’s Hospital

Accept Decline