2. Find a convenient time to schedule a visit with the principal and tour the school.
3. Discuss the procedures they have in place for handling students with life-threatening allergies.
4. Ask them to introduce you to the school nurse. If they don’t have a full-time nurse, do they have a health aide or someone trained in handling an allergic reaction?
5. Walk around the school and write down any concerns you may have, so you can later discuss them in the team meeting.
6. Schedule a team meeting with the principal, nurse, and all other staff members who will play a vital role in your child’s safety.
7. Find out how and when the staff members receive training on food allergy safety and on administering epinephrine. Ask the school if there are any resources you can help provide.
8. Find out what forms you’ll need for your child. Do they have a specific Food Allergy Action Plan form that they use or will you need to provide one?
9. Make an appointment with your child’s doctor/allergist. Make sure you also factor in a busy schedule for your doctor, especially the closer it gets to the end of summer.
10. Think about different questions you’ll want to ask the allergist and write down anything you’ll want to discuss, so you won’t forget.
11. At the appointment – don’t be afraid to bring up any questions you may have. Request documentation of the food allergy, prescriptions, and any other materials you may need to give the school. Fill out your child’s allergy action plan with the allergist.
12. Have the allergist clearly state the severity of the allergy, along with the precautions that need to be taken and the reasons why. This information is critical for the school to know.
13. In all appointments/meetings, make sure you take detailed notes. Keep everything stored in a binder or other organized method, so you’ll know things that were and weren’t discussed.
14. Make copies of all paperwork you supply to the school. Consider adding allergy alert stickers to help papers stand out.
15. If your child is older, consider having them attend the meeting with you. This will be an excellent opportunity for the staff to get to know your child, and will help teach advocacy skills to your child.