Back-to-school in 2020 has looked very different from previous years. And while new safety and sanitization measures and protocols were enacted in schools to keep students safe from COVID-19, allergy experts say this can also help reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Examples of these measures include:
- Washing hands with soap and water before and after eating.
- Not sharing food/drinks, straws, utensils, and food containers with others.
- Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces such as desks and tables
Since the return to school, Food Allergy Canada has recommended that parents of children with food allergies have an open conversation with their child about how their school plans to manage both COVID-19 and food allergy in schools. Furthermore, experts are cautioning that students with food allergies must have a heightened awareness of their condition so they can avoid trips to the ER to limit exposure to the virus.
Additionally, students and teachers should be conscious of mask-wearing, as the face covering could prevent teachers from seeing visible symptoms of anaphylactic reaction like hives or swelling. Parents are advised to remind children to tell an adult or teacher if they start to feel unwell or experience symptoms. For more information on allergy management in schools during the pandemic, visit Food Allergy Canada.