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    Relief for Allergies at School

    Educate Your Child About His or Her Allergies

    As much help as teachers, coaches and parents can offer, ultimately, your child will be responsible for managing her allergies at school.

    "It's important to educate your child early on, in a developmentally appropriate fashion, about the allergies they have and get them to be active participants in their own care," says Pistiner.

    Teach your child to:

    • Recognize their own allergy symptoms and report them immediately to an adult in charge.
    • Wash their hands frequently, particularly before and after they eat. This can keep them from transferring allergens from their hands to their eyes, face, and mouth, which can cause an allergic reaction. It is particularly important with severe food allergies.
    • Keep their hands out of their mouths.
    • Understand that sharing isn't always good. They shouldn't share other children's food, water bottles, or sippy cups -- it's easy to transfer allergenic food particles that way. And putting on a friend's coat is a good way to inhale some of his dog's dander.
    • Steer clear of the chalkboard if he or she has dust allergies.
    • Avoid reading or napping on carpeted surfaces; instead, sit at a desk or use a personal nap mat.

    Take a proactive stance by educating your child's teachers, as well as your child. You'll help make the school day easier, limit the need for medication, and prevent uncomfortable or dangerous allergic reactions.

    "Getting relief from allergies at school is a combination of things -- you can't pop a pill and be done with it," says Lowe. "It involves a lot of teamwork, and a combination of awareness, avoidance measures, and medication."

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    Reviewed on July 10, 2008

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