HEALTH WATCH: Allergist offers tips to keep kids with food allergies safe in school

It’s the time of year when kids are heading back to school.

For children with food allergies, it’s essential for parents to know how to prevent, identify and respond to food allergy reactions. Nearly six million children have food allergies in the U.S.

Sophia Jeswald of Harris County is allergic to tree nuts, something her parents found out when Sophia was two.

“She was given cashew butter instead of peanut butter. Her mouth was getting itchy. We thought she was just complaining but it was obviously more than that. We got an ambulance for her. She said she couldn’t breathe. Then all the symptoms started happening,” said Teresa Jeswald, Sophia’s mom.

Dr. B.J. Lanser, an allergist at National Jewish Health has four simple tips to keep children safe at school:

First, meet with administrators before the school year starts.

Develop a written plan that outlines all the necessary information to prevent exposures as well as how to recognize and treat symptoms.

Post a picture with allergy information in your child’s classsroom to alert anyone who enters the room.

“It’s easy to get confused and forget which foods each child might be allergic to, and so the more clear and the simpler you can make it for everyone at school is great,” said Dr. Lanser.

Pack safe snacks for your child in case someone brings in an allergenic treat for the class.

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