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Summer 2010
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Students with Allergies: Prepare for the Upcoming School Year

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Is your child allergic to anything? Do they require medication in case of a reaction?

During the summer break, many kids visit their pediatrician for routine check-ups and to stay current with their immunizations. This can also be a good time to gather the forms needed to alert the school nurse about any allergies your child may have as well as medications needed.

The Austin Independent School District and Children's/AISD Student Health Services are committed to safeguarding the health of all students – from the classroom to the playground – and even in the cafeteria, where food allergies are a concern for some children.

To aid your school's nurse in creating a care plan for your child, be sure to print out and take the Food Allergy Action Plan to your child's doctor's visit. For students outside of AISD, please check your local school district's website for a form specific to your school.

Both the parent and the physician must fill out and sign the form. Parents can turn this in to their school nurse on the first day of school or the week prior. Check with your school for office hours the week of Aug. 16.

Student Care Plan

School nurses will work with parents and students to create a unique care plan for your child. They will educate staff about the student's allergy, teach them the symptoms of an allergic reaction and instruct them on how to help during an emergency – including how to use an epinephrine auto-injector or EpiPen®. School nurses also maintain medication on-site and ensure that necessary medication is sent along on field trips.

What Is an Anaphylaxis Reaction?

An anaphylaxis reaction is a serious allergic reaction that comes on quickly and may even cause death. Common causes include food, medication, insect stings and latex.

An anaphylactic reaction may begin with a tingling sensation, itching or a metallic taste in the mouth. Other symptoms can include hives, a sensation of warmth, wheezing or other difficulty breathing, coughing, swelling of the mouth and throat area, vomiting, diarrhea, cramping, a drop in blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Symptoms may begin within several minutes to two hours after exposure to the allergen, but life-threatening reactions may get worse over a period of several hours.

Anyone with a previous history of anaphylactic reactions is at risk for having another severe reaction. Also at risk is anyone with a personal or family history of allergic conditions such as asthma, eczema or hay fever.

If you believe your child has experienced an allergic reaction, discuss your concern with their physician and ask about the possibility of further evaluation.

For More Information:

Your child's doctor is always your best resource for more information.

Source: www.foodallergy.org

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Good Health for Kids is produced by Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas.