As a parent of a child with allergies, you are probably quite eager to protect them from being to exposed to allergens. With many other children present in a child care setting, this is a little harder to do, but a great preschool can do a few things to keep your child safe:
Step 1: Interview Preschools
Before you sign up for pre-k 4 classes, you'll want to know that they fully understand the severity of the allergies and can handle them. If it's a food allergy, how will the center make sure children are kept away from foods that inadvertently contain that allergen? Kids may not fully understand their allergies and be able to screen the food provided to them. If the allergy is environmental, what would the center do if the child was accidentally exposed to an allergen? Another child may drag something in. Does the staff have the medical know-how to deal with this?
Step 2: Figure out Special Accommodations
During the interview process, make sure there is a staff member who has medical training. If your child needs to be administered medicine by mouth or given an epi pen, does someone on the staff have familiarity with how to deliver these treatments? And do they understand the various signs of a reaction, including generalized reactions and shock? Aside from special medical needs, discuss any extra steps you feel your child might need, such as being kept indoors or refraining from heavy exertion.
Step 3: Provide Supplies for Your Child
You may need to provide all of the meals and snacks for your child in preschool so that they don't get something that contains a food allergen. But some preschools are able to accommodate common allergies. You'll also want to supply allergy medications or epinephrine to the center and develop a plan for if your child has an emergency during the day.
Step 4: Communicating Regularly
Something that will ease your mind about your child's safety in daycare is communicating with the staff regularly. Your staff could keep you updated on whether there were any incidents that week with allergies. That shows you that the staff is keeping track of your child's well-being and is ready to respond to an emergency. In short, you don't have to keep your child out of preschool because of their allergies, but you do need to find a child care center that is responsive and takes the issue seriously.
Check out a website like http://www.learningtreeatoz.com for more information and assistance.