Nut and food allergies seem to be a buzz of conversation at the moment and it’s no surprise why. Current statistics from Food Allergy Aware state that, “1 in 10 infants now have a food allergy”. This is quite an alarming number of individuals at risk of anaphylaxis or an allergic reaction and as Playgroup members we need to know how to reduce the possibility of a reaction, be able to recognise a reaction when it happens, and know how to respond.
Being a responsible and proactive Playgroup can reduce risk and hopefully make Playgroup memorable for all the right reasons!
Top Tips For An Allergy Aware Playgroup:
Be a Playgroup that is ALLERGY AWARE by providing a “nuts/fish or shellfish free zone”. Be mindful that many crackers and biscuits may contain traces of nuts.
- Suggest fresh fruit and vegetables for a healthy and enjoyable snack time.
- Wash all hands (child and parent/caregivers) before coming to or on arrival at Playgroup as even the smallest trace of peanut can be enough to cause an allergic reaction, which can sometimes be life threatening.
- Let all visitors and new members
know that your Playgroup is allergy aware and what this means i.e. please no nuts or products that may contain nut traces.
- If your Playgroup has a welcome letter/information pack or even a welcoming person, please make sure that information regarding allergies and the “Nut Free Zone” are communicated and display an allergy information sheet near the Playgroup entrance.
- Provide details to your Playgroup of your child’s allergies so that they can respond accordingly. Be mindful that it may take a few weeks to notify all members, so be vigilant until this has occurred.
- Display Allergy Awareness posters at Playgroup. Make your own, contact ACT Playgroups for assistance or download such resources at www.starallergyalerts.com.au
- Where serious risk exists, have an information talk for all members of the Playgroup and ensure that all members are aware of the emergency action plan.
- Remember to keep communicating and enjoy your Playgroup time together!
Still needing ideas, suggestions or support? Need more ideas on keeping your Playgroup safe and fun? Please contact ACT Playgroups on 1800 171 882 and one of our friendly and experienced staff will assist you and your Playgroup.
Reproduced with thanks to Playgroup SA