Team Spirit: Top Five Things to Tell Your Child’s Coach About Her Food Allergies

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Every year, sports start up and kids get swept up in the spirit. It’s easy for a young child to forget she has special diet considerations and just jump in with everyone else for the after-game snacks.

It’s not uncommon to see boys in the dugout sharing food from the snack shack. It is very important to communicate with your child’s coach about food allergies and intolerances. Coaches want and need to know what potential harm could come to their players. Prevention and preparation are key.

What is your allergy, food intolerance or other condition?

Your coach must know this if nothing else. Share food allergies and even intolerances. Different symptoms may present in different ways with the stress of physical activity and hot weather. The coach needs to be able to narrow down what is causing a situation.

What are your symptoms?

Is it a skin rash, clammy skin, racing heartbeat, breathing difficulty, vomiting, dizziness? The coach needs to know if you have any experience with your child’s reaction, what did it look like?

What is your contact information?

Every possible phone number for you, other immediate family, significant caretakers and of course health providers. Often this information is included in a medical id bracelet. If so, make sure your coach knows where that is.

Do you have an EpiPen or antihistamines and where is they?

In addition to letting your coach know where these lifesaving medications are, make sure he or she knows how to use them.

Is there anything especially calming to your child?

If your child is going into shock and needs to feel comforted, what can the coach do? Sing? Talk it out? Gentle massage? This could help your panicked child in a moment of fear.

Communication is key. Feel free to talk to other parents as well and if necessary league administrators. Sharing information can improve the quality of the sporting experience and possibly save a life.

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