Back to school news for September 2021 is understandably focused on COVID-19 concerns. The Centers for Disease Control offers guidance that is evolving as there is updated information and the first day of school draws near. Individual school districts will also be rolling out their own specific guidelines.
For families of children with allergies and/or asthma, there are additional concerns regarding their children’s health and safety at school. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) offers a number of strategies.
Planning ahead is key, including getting the flu vaccine. Parents are encouraged to meet and discuss concerns with the teachers and school administrators before school begins. Look out for allergy triggers – new carpeting, open windows, even a class pet, are some examples. Inform the school of food allergies and develop a plan in case your child is exposed. The school’s action plan should include: the food the child is allergic to, what treatment needs to be given, and emergency contact information. “Keep viruses at bay,” the ACAAI advises. “Viruses can negatively impact those with asthma. Encourage your kids to mask up, wash hands, and use hand sanitizer whenever possible.”(1)