Parents who have dealt with their child’s food allergies during the back-to-school frenzy may know all too well the feeling of being lost in the shuffle. During the weeks before school starts, teachers are incredibly busy readying their classrooms, attending meetings, and getting everything in order. The office staff is busy fielding questions about everything from what time school starts to parents wanting to change their child’s teacher. It is little surprise that trying to contact the appropriate staff to discuss your child’s food allergies can prove to be a daunting task.
With food allergies being so prevalent among children and with its awareness at an all time high, hopefully most schools have at least a generic food allergy management plan in place. Even so, most parents will want to speak with their child’s teacher before the first day of school, just to review their child’s specific needs.
It’s definitely easier when your child is a returning student. It can still be difficult though to contact your child’s teacher and arrange a meeting before the first day of school. One way to effectively contact the teacher without spending hours at the school waiting to see her in person, is to leave a note with the office staff. Ask to make sure your child’s teacher receives your note as soon as possible (this is where your reputation comes into play, hopefully from previous encounters the school knows you as a friendly, reasonable parent who is easy to work with).
I keep the note short and simple, and I hand write it on a colorful piece of paper (more likely to catch their attention).
I write something like:
Hi. My child, Mary Smith, is in your 3rd grade class this year. Mary is allergic to tree nuts and eggs for which she has an Epi-Pen available. I would like to meet with you briefly before the first day of school to go over Mary’s allergies.
Please call me on my cell phone so we can set up a meeting time.
(cell phone #)
I find that if you are respectful of their time, most teachers will call you back promptly. And if you know your child’s teacher, it never hurts to add that you’d be happy to bring them a Starbuck’s. : )