Here are my top picks for food allergy awareness products for younger children. Perfect for those attending daycare, preschool and kindergarten!
My son Lucas will be attending 2-year-old preschool for the first time soon. Even though I have some apprehension about him going to school as one of the youngest kids in his class, what worries me most as a food allergy mom, is that he isn’t very vocal about his allergy. Let’s face it, he JUST turned 2. He can say various words and phrases and make his point known, but he still doesn’t understand when I keep repeating to him “no peanuts”…he just kinda looks at me with a puzzled look.
I won’t be able to be his mouth piece while he is in school (talk about a helicopter mom), so I need to do my best to educate his teachers and school faculty at large about his allergy, steps to take and accommodations. This can also apply to those in daycare or kindergarten who may not be able – for whatever reason – to speak up and advocate for themselves.
I’m sure you’ve heard about 504 plans for kindergarten and beyond, but can these be applied to preschool? According to the Food Allergy Awareness & Education (FARE):
“Preschools and daycare centers that receive federal funds are required to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Section 504 allows you to create, in collaboration with the school, a 504 Plan, which is a written management plan outlining how the school will address the individual needs of your child, and allow your child to participate safely and equally alongside his/her peers during all normal facets of the school day.”
Additionally, you can learn more about 504 plans by visiting FARE’s advocacy section on “Section 504 and Written Management Plans“. Check out the U.S. Department of Education website for complete details on The Civil Rights of Students with Hidden Disabilities Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. I urge any new food allergy parent, educator, family member and beyond to visit the Food Allergy Awareness & Education website often, print their resources, forward any education materials and check back often!
As I stated earlier, Lucas is non-verbal when it comes to his peanut allergy. As he gets older he’ll be able to express his allergy accommodations, worries and any allergic reaction symptoms, but for now, I’m trying my best to “show” his teachers, school volunteers and faculty at large that he has an allergy. Obviously, I will do my best to educate his teachers before school starts, but these items are an added bonus for those not familiar with Lucas and his peanut allergy. Depending on the length of time each child is in school, if they need to bring their own snack, transportation, involvement with volunteers and other classroom circumstances, these products will vary.
Here are my top allergy awareness products for preschoolers:
Allermates Peanut Allergy Bracelet – Flexible for movement and play, as well as sized just for toddlers and children. If your child has multiple food allergies, you can purchase a Allermates Multi-Allergy Bracelet and a whole slew of food allergy and medical alert charm buttons to the bracelet.
Epi-pen Carrier – At my sons preschool, children keep their medicine in their book bags within their classroom, so I need a place to put his Epi-pens. By registering your Epi-pen prescription with Mylan, you are eligible to receive a carrier that can fit two Epi-pens. You can also fit additional items into the carrier, such as Benedryl and Cortisone Cream. You can also find some cute options like this Alphabet Bag from The Fuzzy Stitch or this Elephants Epi Case via Allergy Apparel.
Pins, Patches and Zipper Clips – Make your little ones food allergy more visible by attaching pins, patches and zipper clips to backpacks, sweater zippers and additional items. Here’s a peanut allergy combo set from Creative Clam that you can purchase on Amazon. It includes a 2.5″ x 4.5″ rectangle patch, a 2.25″ pinback button and a 2-pack of 1″ white zipper pull charms.
Personalized Food Storage and Organization – Obviously, food allergies and food storage is paramount to keeping children safe! Children need to avoid cross contamination and maintain possession of their own allergy friendly foods, along with showing in a visual manner that their lunch boxes and food storage containers belong to them. Here are a few food storage and organization items to consider:
– The AllerMates Purple “I Have Allergies” Lunch Bag
– LunchBots Trio Stainless Steel Food Container
– Rubbermaid TakeAlongs Food Storage Container Set from Target
– Pink Robot Allergy Alert Water Bottle from Zazzle
– Name Allergy Labels (Dots) from Stuck on You
– Name Allergy Labels (Mini) from Stuck on You
Do you have any preschool allergy go-to related items? Leave your comments below since I am a newbie!
The opinions stated in this post are my own. Availability of each products depends on the manufacturer.