Don’t let food allergies cancel your school field trip.
Your trip can be safe and enjoyable with careful advanced preparation. As always, clear communication and detailed planning are essential to your success.
Take these steps when planning your school field trip to prepare for food allergies.
Field Trip Preparations for Food Allergies
1. Collect Medical Treatment Consent Forms – This form authorizes emergency medical treatment for a tour participant and must be signed by a parent/guardian.
3. Plan to Eat at Locations with Many Choices – Choose food courts, buffets, and other meal venues that offer a variety of food choices for students. Your travel consultant can assist you in the selection process.
4. Carefully Select Sit-Down Restaurant Menu Options – Groups eating at sit-down restaurants are often given set menu options. Discuss these options with parents and select meals with safe foods and safe food preparation. Inform restaurant manager and staff of food allergies in advance of visit. Confirm their knowledge of the situation when you arrive at the restaurant.
5. Encourage School Nurse to Attend Trip – A nurse can be an invaluable resource on a school trip where students have food allergies.
6. Encourage Parent to Chaperone Trip – Depending on the age of the student and severity of the allergy, parents may request to attend the trip to ensure the safety of their child.
7. Encourage Students to Bring Snacks from Home -Students should pack their own safe food to eat while traveling on the motor coach.
8. Ban Snacks with Allergens – Inform parents of food allergies at a pre-trip meeting. Issue a ban on pertinent snacks. Confirm with each student before they board the motor coach that they do not have foods packed containing the allergens.
9. Always Have Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Close By – Carry the food-allergic student’s medications wherever the student goes. In the case of a severe allergic reaction, quick access to medications can be the difference between life and death. Keep all staff and chaperones informed about who will be carrying the student’s medications.
10. Check Expiration Dates on Medicine and Auto-Injector – Confirm medicine is not expired before departing for the trip.
11. Confirm Food Allergy Action Plan with Parents – Carefully review the itinerary, meal locations, and food allergy action plan with parents before departure. Discuss this as early as possible in trip planning to allow for timely adjustments to be made.
12. Review Emergency Response Protocol with Chaperones – Review student food allergies and corresponding action plan with trip chaperones. Identify the students with food allergies, discuss what foods to avoid, explain corresponding allergic reaction symptoms, and review the Food Allergy Action Plan.
13. Carry Cell Phone and Cell Phone Charger – Ensure that your cell phone is charged and available to call for help in an emergency.
14. Always Call 911 If Epinephrine Given
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