Ten Tips for
The following are tips for parents
to help children with asthma and/ or
food allergies. This will help keep
your child knowledgeable & healthy
during the school year:
1. Make sure a "School
Management Plan" is on file for your
child at school. Click on the link
provided by the Food Allergy &
Anaphylaxis Network to print up an
Action Plan for your child.
2. Schedule a meeting with
teachers and the school nurse to
discuss your child’s condition.
3. Encourage children to take
their maintenance medications as
4. Review your child’s triggers
with them and encourage them to ask
their teacher for help when symptoms
5. If your child is allergic to
certain foods, inform school
cafeteria staff and teachers to
avoid and suggest safe
alternatives. If possible, have your
child bring a bag lunch to school.
The child or school nurse should
have physician orders with the Epi-Pen™
and know how to use it.
6. Inform physical education
teachers and coaches about asthma
and warning signs of asthma attack.
7. Work with your child’s school
system to address their concerns
about your child’s medical needs.
8. Encourage your child’s
physician to be an informational
resource for the school.
9. See a physician if your child
is having trouble with learning,
endurance or alertness. These
symptoms may be due to side effects
of the child’s condition or
10. Make sure your child has their
medications and peak flow meter with
them at school.
Basic Information about Peak Flow
What is a peak flow meter?
A peak flow meter for asthma is like
a thermometer for a fever. It is a
tool that helps you monitor what’s
going on inside your lungs.
How do you use one?
Asthma sufferers blow into them
quickly and forcefully, and the
resulting peak flow reading
indicates how open your airways are,
or how difficult is it for you to
What does it do?
Helps to determine the severity of
your asthma. Checks your response to
treatment during episodes. Monitors
progress in treatment of chronic
asthma and provides objective
information for therapies. Detects
worsening in lung function and
thereby helps to avoid a possible
flare-up in asthma by facilitating
early treatment of impending flares.
Facilitates diagnosis of
Why is it important?
It helps you and your allergist
evaluate asthma severity. Peak flow
readings may fall before the
symptoms of asthma are otherwise
How do you obtain one?
Peak flow meters are available
over-the-counter, but should be used
with the recommendation of your
allergist or pediatrician, who can
give you directions.
Notify the school of the child's
Work with the school team to develop
a plan that accommodates the child's
needs throughout the school
including in the classroom, in the
cafeteria, in after-care programs,
during school-sponsored activities,
and on the school bus, as well as a
Food Allergy Action Plan.
Provide written medical
documentation, instructions, and
medications as directed by a
physician, using the Food Allergy
Action Plan as a guide. Include a
photo of the child on written form.
Replace medications after use or
Educate the child in the
self-management of their food
allergy including: safe and unsafe
foods strategies for avoiding
exposure to unsafe foods symptoms of
allergic reactions how and when to
tell an adult they may be having an
allergy-related problem how to read
food labels (age appropriate)
Review policies/procedures with the
school staff, the child's physician,
and the child (if age appropriate)
after a reaction has occurred.
Students should not trade food with
Students should not eat anything
with unknown ingredients or known to
contain any allergen.
Students should be proactive in the
care and management of their food
allergies and reactions based on
their developmental level.
Students should notify an adult
immediately if they eat something
they believe may contain the food to
which they are allergic.
More detailed suggestions for
implementing these objectives and
creating a specific plan for each
individual student in order to
address his or her particular needs
are available in The Food Allergy &
Anaphylaxis Network's (FAAN) School
Food Allergy Program. The School
Food Allergy Program has been
endorsed and/or supported by the
Anaphylaxis Committee of the
American Academy of Allergy Asthma
and Immunology, the National
Association of School Nurses, and
the Executive Committee of the
Section on Allergy and Immunology of
the American Academy of Pediatrics.
FAAN can be reached at:
A great web site for parents and
www.aaaai.org homepage has a
wealth of information for you and
your family regarding asthma and
allergy education, prevention and