If your child has a life threatening allergy, it is best to prepare an allergy bag to remain at the school. Actually, schools require this. I would suggest getting a little bag and including the following:
- 2 Epi-pens
- Inhaler (if your child uses one)
- Action plan
- Emergency phone numbers
- Picture of your child
Make sure you label the outside of the bag with your child’s name and picture on the front, and all emergency numbers on the back.
The inside of the bag should include the epi-pens, inhaler, benadryl and action plan. Make sure you label the outside of the Benadryl bottle with the dosage in large print so it’s easy to see. Also make sure you include the dosing cup or syringe. Basically you want to make things as easy as possible.
The Action Plan is just as important as the emergency items. This is where you again include your emergency contact numbers, but also the numbers for your child’s pediatrician, emergency contact if you’re unavailable, and how/when to give the dosing of each item, what to look for as an allergic reaction and the severity of what type of allergy that is presenting itself. A great example of an Action Plan to use is found here.
You should make sure your child’s teacher reviews your action plan frequently. You can speak with the Director or Principal and Nurse of the school to make sure all teachers are trained with an epipen and know what to look for/when to give dosing, etc. If the school hasn’t had any firsthand, hands-on experience with life threatening food allergies, I would highly encourage you to take the practice epipen and do a mini-training for the teachers prior to your child’s first day. Additionally, you can hire the Red Cross to come and train the staff. You may feel silly, but it is your child’s life they are taking in to their own hands, in a more extreme way than they are with other children. Same goes for all the parents if your child is attending a co-op or a parent participation school. Everyone that will have contact with your child should be trained.
Your emergency bag should be clearly labeled with your child’s picture and put in a visible, easily accessible spot that any adult can get to.
Remember, every second counts.