3 Ways You Can Protect Children With Food Allergies in the Classroom
Sponsored How can educators and parents help make the classroom a more inclusive environment for children with severe food allergies?
In a classroom, everyone is responsible for creating a welcoming environment for all children. Unfortunately, sometimes people aren’t fully aware of the physical and emotional dangers children with food allergies face.
Here are three steps you can take to ensure every child feels safe, included and has the support to grow:
1. Prioritize safety
“The best way to form self-confidence is to make children feel welcome,” says Robert Julius, CEO of Nice-Pak. Keeping clean makes classrooms safe for everyone to grow their confidence. “Our Nice ‘n CLEAN® antibacterial hand wipes are clinically proven to kill 99.99 percent of germs and remove 99 percent of peanut residue from hard surfaces.”
Robert, who has a granddaughter with a food allergy, knows personally how important it is for kids not to be subjected to the high bacterial environment in a classroom. “It gives me peace of mind that a wipe can allow [my granddaughter] to be safe enough to socialize at whatever table she wants.”
2. Promote communication
Julie Galluzzo, whose young daughter has severe food allergies, teaches her to self-advocate for her needs early: “When we go to a restaurant, I have [my daughter] tell the waiter, ‘Hello, I want to let you know I’m allergic to peanuts and shellfish.’”
This helps children with food allergies become confident enough to advocate for themselves in school.
3. Don’t isolate
Educator Tricia Smith recalls seeing inclusivity fail during another school’s classroom party: “They had a separate table for kids with food allergies, but the other kids got to visit whatever table they wanted. The poor [allergic] kid was completely isolated.”
By checking in advance what allergies kids in the class have, then choosing to serve food that everyone can enjoy, nobody is left out of the social circle.