Getting ready to go back to school? Here are some quick reminders if you have a child with food allergies.
Get your prescription for epinephrine auto-injector filled now. Make sure you know how many your insurance will cover. There are now four auto-injectors available in the market. Here are a few promotions that will save you money.
1. Auvi-Q $0 co-pay *for most insured patients* go here to download a card: http://www.auvi-q.com
2. Epi-pen® also has a $0 co-pay *for most insured patients* go here to download the offer http://www.epi-pen.com and is valid for up to 3 Epi-pen® two-packs.
If you are unsure which auto-injector you’d like to purchase, read the Kids With Food Allergies blog post written by Angela Nace, a pharmacist and mom to a food allergic child who explains all of them.
Get your Benadryl prescription and Albuterol (if needed) prescription filled now. Albuterol will need to have a counter on it for most schools to accept it. Benadryl will be filled generically with the pharamcist and will have the dosage for your child written on it. This is more of a must-have for our school nurse than the epinephrine, since New York City schools stock epinephrine, but they do not stock Benadryl. Check with your school district if you are unsure of their policies.
Have your doctor fill out any school forms. In New York, we have what they call a medical 504 form. It is straight forward and we fill it out every year once we get it from our school. It lists the child’s name, the medical condition, any emergency management plans and medications that will need to be kept in the school.
First time in school? In most cases, you will need to wait until your child is enrolled to meet with school personnel, teachers, janitors, etc. Be patient. Make sure you have all of your child’s information together in an easy to read format. Put your happiest face on the first day of school. Drop your child off and head to the office with your Food Allergy Action Plan that has been filled out by your doctor. Fill out any forms you need in advance if possible. The most important form is your emergency card (for us a blue card). Make sure all of the numbers are correct. Then, nicely request a meeting with your child’s primary teacher, school nurse, Principal or Vice Principal.
Still feel like you need more information? This Kids With Food Allergies Webinar conducted by Dr. Mike Pistiner and with Sally Schoessler, MEd, BSN, RN, a school nurse from the National Association of School Nurses is excellent. It’s free and has lots of good pointers. I also have a previous post here where I show a letter that I send every year to all of our child’s teachers. And another previous blog post here.
Have a safe and healthy school year!