So, I do realize that there’s a great deal I could tell you before explaining about the school stuff, but since the new school year is coming up, I figured I’d just go ahead and bounce right into that in case you can grab some ideas that might help you in some way.
It was quite scary when Pre-K was approaching and we knew we had to let her go. However, we wanted her to have as close to a normal education as any other child so we (me and hubby) sat down and brainstormed all the “what if’s” that we could in hopes of covering any problems that might occur. I’m going to just make a list of what we did and give explanation’s by some so you know why we did things the way we did them. Take a look and I hope this helps you in some way.
1. Schedule a meeting with the teachers, principle and school nurse ahead of the first day. Review everything from medications, reactions, training those who need to know how to use an Epi Pen, where medications will be kept while at school, seating in cafeteria, school parties and snacks, will parents of other kids be told of your child’s allergies, field trips, bus transportation, etc. Ask for a 504 plan! Here’s a link to one that might help explain more what a 504 Plan is: https://www.foodallergy.org/advocacy/section-504-plans?
2. Medical ID’s: I have (had) a variety of medical ID alert jewelry that she wears and always make sure that she has it on everyday. I buy my jewelry from an online company who has a great variety and so many different options to choose from. They are absolutely wonderful to work with and their communication is great. You can find them at: www.uniquemedicalid.com
3. Medicine: We’ve done this routine since she was in Pre-K and she is now going to the 4th grade so it has worked for us quite well. I fixed two medicine boxes (I bought my custom boxes off a website that is no longer active but I also found out that a regular plastic school pencil box works well which is what we use at home). My daughter carries an Epi Pen, Benadryl, and an Inhaler & Spacer in her boxes. One box stays in her classroom and remains with her teachers all day (even changing classes and going to lunch-so the box is with her at all times). The other box stays in her book bag. She is a car rider in the morning and a bus rider in the afternoon. Her bus driver is trained very well with all her medications. At the end of the day when she gets on the bus, the teacher takes her medicine box out of her book bag and hands it to the driver who keeps the box by his side during the route. When she gets off the bus, the driver hands her medicine box to her. The reason for this is some of those “what if’s” we came across in the brainstorming. If it remained in her book bag which is zipped up, “what if” she had a reaction on the bus and the driver was attempting to get her medicine out of her bag and the zipper was stuck? A few minutes that can turn into seconds, can cause a great deal of harm if you can’t get your hands on that medication. Also, in handing it to the driver each day, you don’t get complacent in forgetting that you have a child with severe allergies in your care. It’s a daily reminder.
4. Stickers: I had custom stickers/labels made to put on nearly everything..lunch box, her shirt, her notebook, her…well, everything! Warning: about the age of 7, she began refusing to use them anymore. However, they are still a requirement on field trips if a parent cannot be present. The site I use is: www.labelitorloseit.com
5. Substitutes: Whenever there is a teacher out and a Sub is brought in to teach class that day, she is moved to another classroom with another teacher for that day due to the fact that the Sub is not familiar with her meds or her allergies. If there is a conference/meeting or event that would warrant all teachers in that grade level to be out, she is then sent to a teacher in the previous grade level that she had before. (This is something that can be added into a 504 plan.)
I hope these tips and suggestions help. As I stated, these are just some things that we do that have worked, but if you are doing something different or see one of ours that can be improved in someway, please let me know. We are always open to anything that could be improved or work in a better way. This is our child’s life so there’s no room for being opinionated or my way works better. We need to be here for each other and give them the best quality of life that we can. 🙂