Sample Food Allergy Letter for Your Child's Classmates

Customizable Template That Can Help You Decide What to Say

A letter to parents may help start the school year on the right foot. Photo © Steve Woods, stock.xchng

If your child has just been diagnosed with severe food allergies, you're likely quite concerned about foods other children may bring into the classroom, potentially risking an allergic reaction, especially if your child is young.

Many schools have policies regarding allergies, especially tree nut and peanut allergies. But other parents may pay more attention to the risk if they know their own child is sharing a classroom with a child who has severe allergies.

Therefore, you may want to let the parents of your child's classmates know about her food allergies. Here's a sample food allergy letter that you can use as a template and customize based on your child's allergies and the policies your school will be following for the upcoming school year.

Dear Parents,

My (son/daughter) is a classmate of your child and has a severe allergy to _______. I wanted to tell you a little about food allergies to ensure a safe and healthy school year.

Food allergies affect about 6% to 8% of children in the United States. Allergic reactions can be life-threatening, and in rare cases deadly. While emergency treatment is available for allergic reactions, there is no cure yet. The only treatment for food allergies is strict avoidance of allergens. Sometimes a small amount of allergen can cause a reaction.

[If your school has adopted an allergen-free policy: Because food allergies can be so severe and because there is a real risk of cross-contamination from foods containing ________, our school administration has decided to enact a policy of (no food in the classroom/allergen-free lunch tables/an allergen-free campus). You can find a list of safe foods (on the school's website/on a separate flier). My child is aware that it is (his/her) responsibility to keep (himself/herself) safe by reading labels and by not accepting food that might contain allergens. However, because children eat in such close proximity at school, the chance of an inadvertent reaction is much higher in the school setting than elsewhere.]

I would ask that if you're bringing in food for a party or special event that might not be allergen-free, that you please let me know in advance so that I can provide an alternative safe option for my child. (In particular, because homemade baked goods are so likely to contain traces of allergens from previous baking, they're not safe options for my child even if they don't contain ingredients with ______.) I would also ask that you let your child know a little about food allergies, ask them not to share food with my (son/daughter), and let them know that other than eating allergenic food, people with allergies can do everything anyone else can. Finally, if your child eats foods containing ______ for breakfast, please ask them to wash their hands and brush their teeth before coming to school.

Thank you in advance for your kindness and consideration. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at _________.

Best regards,

(Your name)

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