As a review, a person becomes allergic to a food (peanuts, treenuts, eggs, milk, etc….) when his/her immune system (that is our fighter-system) mistakes that food for a harmful substance. The allergic reaction can be presented as innocuous as a slight rash to a life-threatening inability to breathe due to shutdown of the respiratory system. That extreme reaction, but also a common reaction in today’s environment, is called anaphylaxis.
Because a food allergy is strictly a medical issue that does not affect academic performance, a Health Plan is designed with input from the parent, physician, nurse and teacher to effectively handle the situation. This includes:
- A completed Medication Form (Spanish version) and Diet Prescription Form (forms downloadable on Morris Brandon website).
- CLINIC - A face-to-face short chat with the nurse when you have the form completed and are delivering the designated medications to the clinic or teacher in case of exposure. A medical Plan of Care will be written by the nurse and distributed to all staff that interact with your child along with instruction on medication administration.
- CLASSROOM - A meeting with the student’s teacher to give them the needed information as towhat to be looking for should a food be accidently ingested. A peanut-free lunch table is avail-able in the cafeteria. Parent should provide substitute ‘treats’ for student in case of a birthday or holiday party.
- Click here for Health Care Management Plan. This document is only to be filled out by the parent/physician in a case of chronic bad allergies. The school's nurse will let you know when you this document is needed.
- Click here for Medical Examination Report. This is to be filled out the parent/physician when a doctor needs to give certain directives to the school on what a child needs on a daily basis. The school's nurse will let you know when this document is needed.
Food allergies are becoming more prevalent…believe it or not, most literature attributes that to us being too clean and too germ-a-phobic. Children are not being able to build up their immune system that requires exposure to germs to mature and be functional. Therefore, we need to be very proactive in our readiness for students' allergies.
IS MY CHILD TOO SICK FOR SCHOOL??
fever – can come to school IF temperature <100 F for 24 hours without medication
vomiting – if vomits, must stay home for 24 hours
red eyes – if no history of allergies but awakes with goopy, sticky, yellow eye gook, take to doc to evaluate…probably conjunctivitis (pink eye); 24 hours on antibiotic eye drops before returning
diarrhea – would you want to go to work or shopping if you had diarrhea??
sore throat – if no temp, stomachache, headache or swollen glands, can come to school; with these additional symptoms, should go to doc to be strep tested
stomach ache – no associated symptoms, go to school; if accompanied by vomiting, diarrhea, fever or no interest in play, keep at home
colds – if fever free and not hacking up a storm, send them. If persistent phlegmy cough and seems cranky or lethargic, or with fever or wheezing, home with mom. Remember that coughs can last for several weeks…annoying, but not infectious
As the school nurse I am not allowed to dispense any oral medications without a MEDICATION FORM. This form must be completed and signed by your child’s doctor and by you. If you know that during the year your child is going to be regularly seeing the orthodontist (which typically causes some discomfort), or has chronic headaches or stomach aches, you may want to get the MEDICATION FORM completed during their summer doctor visit for the upcoming school year. This will save you a trip to school to give medication.
WORDS OF WISDOM shared with this mom 30 years ago…
If your child is complaining persistently with vague symptoms and you concede, actually make it a “sick day”… keep them in their room with no TV, video games, and lights low. Perhaps even serve breakfast and lunch in bed…but, do not allow it to be a “fun day” with mom/dad. Don’t make staying home more appealing than going to school. My prediction is they will be up early the next day ready for school.
Please know I am always available for conversation, preferably face to face. But, in emergency situations, feel free to call 404-802-7256.
Nancy Doran, R.N.