I know a lot of families have children with allergies entering school settings for the first time. It can be a difficult and anxious time, but it does not have to be. One great thing to do is to help the class (especially with very young children) understand allergies. Kids always respond better when they have some age appropriate information, and this can open a whole world of support for a child.
There are some picture books that may offer help and building blocks for dialogue for classes and peers. I looked on Amazon.com and saw not only some familiar ones, but also some that I don’t know as well. I’m including some of the reviews below, but these could be great gifts for your child’s new teacher or a nice addition to the school library and they can be shared with your child’s new class each year. I am sure any teacher would love a new book for her class library, as would the media specialist. It also could be helpful to have any of these at home to help your own child learn more about his allergy, and know it may be hard for some kids to understand, but anything that can help to empower him with knowledge will be a lifelong benefit.
No Lobster, Please! A Story of a Child with a Severe Seafood Allergy
by Robyn Rogers
This is the story of a boy with a seafood allergy told by him. He describes the first time he experienced an allergy attack, complete with symptoms and a trip to the hospital. It is helpful for other children to understand the physical and social aspects of food allergies, as the narrator is a first grader.
The Bugabees: Friends with Food Allergies
by Amy Recob
The bugabees are a tight group of friends who all have different allergies, representing the top 8 allergens. It is full of learning and teaching opportunities and shows that friendship is much more sweet than any food. The daily routines are explored as they face their allergies with positive attitudes.
A Day at the Playground with Food Allergies
by Tracie Scrand
Great for the under 5 crowd giving good advice about food allergies.
Allie the Allergic Elephant: A Children’s Story of Peanut Allergies
by Nicole Smith
Allie is an elephant with a peanut allergy and this is a very effective book in explaining (peanut) allergies to small children. It lets them know that if a child eats something he is allergic to, it can make him very sick. Though we’re always teaching our children to share, this is one instance where kids cannot share. It mixes the severity of food allergies with age appropriate humor and understanding.