Food Allergies and Children's Safety

Food is often a part of congregational life. Meals, potlucks, coffee hour, and classroom snacks can all pose a potential threat to persons with severe food allergies. Identifying children with food allergies via registration forms is just one piece of prevention. Ideally, the congregation will also develop a policy with guidelines that all employees and volunteers follow when working with children to create safer spaces for our children with severe and life-threatening food allergies. The following are several areas to address in food allergy policy:

  1. Communication between leaders, parents, and children about the child’s specific allergies

  2. Documentation of the child’s allergies and who will have access to those records

  3. Education for leaders, staff, and volunteers on common food allergies

  4. How to recognize the signs and symptoms of allergies

  5. How to minimize risk of allergic reactions

  6. Procedures and incident reports for children who experience an allergic reaction

  7. Allergy Action Plan easily accessible for each child who may experience a severe allergic reaction.

Review this manual's sections on Tree Nuts and Peanuts and Allergy Action Plans for further guidance.