I love summer! It’s my season to unburden, relax, travel and most importantly, recharge my batteries. This annual ritual has become hardwired for me. After all my schooling, a career in education and then many years of parenting school-age children, the academic calendar still fuels my own internal rhythms! When mid June hits, I can almost taste the morning coffee on my patio, a poolside salad and afternoon swim at my brother’s, and outdoor grilling for easy and quick meals at night! For me though, summer’s greatest gift is the release from the grind of daily activities, a proverbial unplugging from the “have to’s” and a switch to the “want to’s.”
When you parent a child with food allergies though, one grind knows no rest…. advocacy for your kids’ safety and inclusion. Just when the work of collaborating with teachers, school officials, PTO/PTA and those in your car pool and after school routine comes to an end, we are faced with the same task for summer camp and extra-curricular leaders. For those of you who feel your stamina may be wavering, I offer a little gift. I am happy to share one of Food Allergy U’s most valued tools, Food Allergy Talking Points: A Guide for Parents and Camp Leaders, which I co-authored with Megan Graham, a food allergy advocate, colleague and friend. This one page document guides parents and camp leaders through helpful and comprehensive conversations about food allergies at camp or extracurricular programs.
Food Allergy Talking Point’s goal is to establish fun, safe and inclusive programming for all kids by prompting conversation between you and camp leaders to clarify and reflect upon everything from food protocol to emergency response. It includes topics such as field trips, internal and external communication, crafts and allergen safety, 911 protocol, and food celebrations/incentives. I am happy to share our Food Allergy Talking Points: A Guide for Parents and Camp Leaders for free, with all of you who subscribe to my website or blog. My hope is that in using it, you will feel confident in your ability to be thorough, efficacious and empowered advocates, while also enjoying some good old Vitamin D, longer nights and perhaps a less demanding grind? Click here and in the message box, ask for Food Allergy Talking Points: A Guide For Parents and Camp Leaders.