ausEE Inc.

a charity dedicated to improving lives affected by an eosinophilic disease

School Tips

Starting kindy or school is an especially big step for any child, but it can be even more challenging if your child has a chronic medical condition like an EGID/EoE or food allergies.

Here are a few tips for the start to the school year:

  • Ideally before school starts, discuss with your school principal/deputy principal, class teacher and teacher aide any extra care requirements your child may have and put appropriate plans in place. School staff should be aware of which students have EoE.  Schools should discuss management options with parents which will be guided by the student's treating doctor.
  • It is helpful for the management of EoE in schools if students diagnosed with EoE have an ASCIA Action Plan for EoE completed and signed by their doctor. Parents should provide a copy of the ASCIA Action Plan for EoE to the school. The ASCIA Action Plan for EoE is for the emergency treatment of food impaction/food bolus obstruction (FBO), due to eosinophilic oesophagitis (EoE). It is a medical document that can only be completed and signed by the patient's clinical immunology/allergy specialist or gastroenterologist. If you don’t currently have a plan in place, please discuss with your specialist at your next appointment.
  • To help explain EoE to your child's school, you can order some of our EGID medical brochures to take to the school.
  • If your child is tube fed or will be formula fed at school, discuss where and how your child will be fed and what happens during lunch breaks/mealtimes. Do not be afraid to offer alternatives if you are not comfortable with the plan that is being proposed by the school. Every situation is different.
  • Avoidance of any identified trigger foods helps to manage EoE. Appropriate risk minimisation strategies to prevent exposure to known triggers should be implemented such as those strategies implemented to prevent anaphylaxis as outlined in the 'Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in Schools'
  • If your child is following an elimination diet and/or has severe food allergies bring some 'safe' treats in on the first day for the classroom freezer so treats can be available as required so your child doesn't get left out of special treats and class celebrations. Even better if you can discuss with the teacher about the whole class having non-food treats!
  • Cooking in the classroom often comes up and this will be your opportunity to offer alternatives, such as egg free baking or gluten free etc., Most teachers will welcome different ideas of what they can do in class and if you or a family member can assist, that may even be better!
  • Talk with your child. Reinforce the importance of following all the "food allergy rules" you've taught them.
  • It is also important to speak about 'handover' plans when there may be a substitute teacher in your child's classroom as many of the staff may help in your child's class from time to time.
  • Some people with EoE will also have a food allergy and be at risk of anaphylaxis. If your child is also living with allergies at risk of anaphylaxis remember to visit your child's Allergist or GP for an updated Anaphylaxis Action Plan. Refer ASCIA website
  • Supply the school with medicines that may be required throughout the year including EpiPen/s or Anapen/s if severe allergies are involved. Schools will usually require a form to be completed (from the school) for each medication and each medicine will require pharmacy label attached with your child’s name (even for non-prescription items like antihistamines). Make notes of the expiry dates so you know when you need to replace them during the year.
  • Check out the range of medical bags, medical id bracelets and allergy awareness stickers from the online stores listed on our Allergy Products page. MedBag offers a member discount to ausEE Members. 
  • If your child would like you to, you can order one of our books from our gift shop and bring it into the school to read to the class for 'show and tell' to help explain EoE to classmates. They are only $8 each and all books are buy one get one free!
  • Make yourself available to parents and staff including those running the canteen and the P&C. Give them your contact information so they can call you with questions/suggestions/or concerns.
  • Recognise up front that this is a learning process for everyone. Think back to when your child was first diagnosed and how little you probably knew about their condition and food allergies. Remember that things that are second-nature to you now, like reading ingredient labels, won't be immediately so for others. 
  • Be a frequent visitor at school. Here is an instance where "face time" matters! Volunteer at the school if you can.
  • Remember that EGID/EoE and allergies are just a tiny part of who your amazing child is. Celebrate them for what makes them unique – are they arty, sporty, funny etc. and as you build relationships with teachers and other parents throughout the year it’s important to not make every conversation about their EGID/EoE and allergies.

The above will hopefully help to prompt you on the steps to starting the school year but it is not exhaustive.

There is also helpful information on the My Food Allergy Friends website including insulated medical bags.

We wish everyone a great start to the school year!

 

Best Practice Guidelines

The National Allergy Strategy has released the 'Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in children’s education and care services' which includes important information and awareness about EoE from page 36 and 'Best practice guidelines for anaphylaxis prevention and management in Schools' which includes important information and awareness about EoE from page 33. The new guidelines provide consistent, evidence-based, best practice guidance to help reduce the risk of anaphylaxis in these settings while supporting children to participate in the full range of activities. The www.allergyaware.org.au website also has supporting resources and is an important website to share with your school.

Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia is an excellent source of information including a School Resource Help Sheet section on their website and access to a free e-book about Preparing for Camp with Food Allergies.
 

School Name Labels

A reminder for when you order your back to school supplies that ausEE is listed as a fundraiser with Bright Star Kids.

When placing your online order simply click on LINK A FUNDRAISING ACCOUNT in the checkout and enter ‘AusEE Inc’. This supports our charity as ausEE earns a 15% commission from all sales. Please share this information with your friends and family as every dollar helps our cause!

Bright Star Kids sell more than name labels, you can also purchase lunch boxes, drink bottles, school bags, personalised gifts etc. They often have great sales on their website too!

An idea for when you order name labels is to buy the bigger ones (our sample is for the Medium Name Labels) that allow an extra line and have your child’s name on the top line/s and list their allergies/medical alert on the additional line. They do have some allergy specific icons available and you can also buy packs of Allergy Alert round labels which are great for lunch boxes, drink bottles, food containers etc.

 

Useful Links

 
Unless stated otherwise, advice offered on this page is from the Principal Author, who is non-medically qualified, however the medical content on this site has been reviewed for accuracy by our Medical Advisory Board.
 

Page last modified: 11 February, 2022

 
 
 
 
 
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