Managing Food Allergies at School

Food allergies can be life threatening. Learn how to avoid accidental exposure at school.

Food allergies can be life threatening. Accidental exposure to foods to which students are allergic can be reduced if schools work with students, parents and physicians to minimize risks and provide a safe educational environment.

Family’s Responsibilities

• Notify the school of the child’s allergies.

• Work with the school team to develop a plan that accommodates the child’s needs throughout the school, including in the classroom, in the cafeteria, in after-care programs, during school-sponsored activities and on the school bus, as well as a Food Allergy Action Plan.

• Provide written medical documentation, instructions and medications to be given as directed by a physician, using the Food Allergy Action Plan as a guide. Include a photo of the child on the written form.

• Provide properly labeled medications and replace after use or upon expiration.

• Educate the child in the self-management of his or her food allergy, including:

• safe and unsafe foods

• strategies for avoiding exposure to unsafe foods

• symptoms of allergic reactions

• how and when to tell an adult he or she may be having an allergy-related problem

• how to read food labels (as age appropriate)

• Review policies/procedures with the school staff, the child’s physician and the child (if age appropriate) after a reaction has occurred.

• Provide emergency contact information.

Student’s Responsibilities

• Do not trade food with others.

• Do not eat anything with unknown ingredients or known to contain any allergens.

• Be proactive in the care and management of his or her food allergies and reactions based on developmental level.

• Notify an adult immediately if he or she eats something believed to contain the food(s) to which he or she is allergic.