If you have a child with celiac disease who is just about to enter day care or school, or you have a school-aged child who was just diagnosed with celiac disease, you may be worried about dealing with school. It can be difficult for a parent who's had control over every aspect of their child's gluten-free lifestyle, to hand them over to a school or day care that may not know a lot about celiac disease.
Here are some areas in which you should be alert when it comes to school and day care:
- Lunch and snacks
- Arts and crafts
- Birthday parties
- Field trips
- General knowledge of celiac and the gluten-free diet by the teacher and cook who's working directly with your child.
- Handling of any accidental consumption or gluten reaction
There are many ways to deal with this, which could include a 504 Plan which would target all of these areas, or you could just start with meeting with your principal, teacher, and district nutritionist and see where that takes you.
Either way, you should know your rights, what's acceptable to request, and what schools are obligated to do. You can find this information in Requesting a 504 Plan. This section aims to educate you the parent in this area so you can assist in getting any special accommodations that are necessary for your child.