Heading back to school can be both exciting and a little nerve-racking for everyone. But it’s incredibly overwhelming if you have a school-age child with allergies. If you recently learned your child has severe reactions to bees and other stinging insects, here are some tips to prepare you (and your child!) for school.
Meet with your child’s board-certified allergist before school starts. They will be able to:
- review proper usage of your child’s epinephrine auto-injector
- evaluate dosage and prescription for their size and age
- make sure their records are up-to-date
Also, look into taking a proactive approach to treatment. Talk to an allergist about venom immunotherapy if your school-age child’s allergic reactions are severe. Immunotherapy is up to 98% effective in preventing systemic allergic reactions.3
Complete the Health Care Plan and Authorization Forms
In most cases, a parent or caregiver and the child’s doctor or allergist will need to sign a few documents. Contact your child’s school to get copies of the forms. Then, complete the forms early so teachers and staff can prepare.
GET YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
Have questions for your child’s school? Now’s the time to ask!
Some questions to consider:
- Who on staff handles allergy emergencies?
- Does the school stock epinephrine pens?
- What happens if my child can’t remember how to use their epinephrine pen?
- Is their teacher trained to administer an epinephrine pen?
Write down your questions and meet with the school nurse and your child’s teacher to get them answered.
FAMILIARIZE YOU AND YOUR CHILD WITH THE SURROUNDINGS
Walk the playground or other areas your school-age child with allergies might encounter bees. Use this as an opportunity to talk through an action plan. For example, while you are looking at the playground equipment, ask what they should do if they are stung. Remind them of the importance of informing an adult in this situation.
Coming up with a game plan where an emergency may occur is an excellent way to ensure your child will remember what to do.
If there are any spots of clover or bee-enticing plants near the playground equipment, take note. Share this and any other concerns with your child’s teacher.
YOU’VE GOT THIS, PARENTS OF SCHOOL-AGE CHILDREN WITH ALLERGIES!
Most importantly, know that you are not alone. Many parents share the same concerns as you and have a school-age child with allergies. You need to advocate for yourself, your child, and other children with severe bee sting allergies. Do what you need to ensure your child’s safety.