Turning a blind eye to a child’s allergies is a big no-no, especially when food allergies among children are becoming more common. In fact, approximately two children in every classroom have food allergies, according to the nonprofit Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE).
In addition, seasonal and environmental allergies triggered by pollen are just as bad for children in the Lone Star State. Dallas, Houston, McAllen, San Antonio, El Paso, and Austin all rank in the top 100 in the 2023 Allergy Capitals report by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Allergic reactions, especially when a child’s allergies are severe, can lead to a scary medical incident. With the uptick in regularity of these reactions, it is important for daycare centers in Texas to take preventative measures to keep children safe from the start.
Texas Childcare Laws Regarding Allergy Prevention and Care
Texas daycare centers are governed by minimum standards, which are the licensing requirements implemented by the state to protect kids from harmful incidents such as allergic reactions. Prevention is key since a child’s allergic reaction could range in severity. Also, quick responses from caregivers can mean the difference from a child surviving and passing away from an allergic reaction, so training and education are necessary for all childcare facilities across the state.
Texas daycare centers can easily prevent severe reactions and keep children who experience severe reactions safe by following these four steps:
- Get a detailed list of allergies for each child to know what foods, chemicals, and materials should be avoided in the classroom.
- Avoid providing foods or using chemical products that contain the known allergens without permission from a parent. This includes notifying parents of other children in the class, so they, too, can avoid packing certain food items in their children’s lunches or offer alternative cleaning products to teachers in order to prevent exposing any child to a substance that could trigger a severe reaction. Teachers should also properly label and store food and cleaning products to prevent a child from coming into contact with a sensitive substance.
- Provide training to all teachers and staff members on how to recognize when a child is experiencing an allergic reaction.
- Ensure all caregivers and workers at the daycare center know how and when to administer an EpiPen to a child experiencing an allergic reaction, if and when other medications should be administered, and when to call 911.
Regulating Allergy Medication in Texas Daycare Centers
As we previously shared, six of the state’s largest cities were deemed among the top allergy capitals in the country thanks to high pollen counts. Texas childcare laws allow daycare centers and caregivers to administer medications intended to treat allergies such as Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl, and other child-friendly decongestants with permission from a parent. Parents can give permission for any medication—prescription or over-the-counter—in one of the following ways:
- Handwritten authorization that is signed and dated
- An electronic format like DocuSign or a PDF file that is capable of being viewed and saved
- Verbal consent via a telephone call, permitting a worker at the daycare center to administer a single dose of medication
In the event a child experiences a severe allergic reaction, preauthorization is not required as long as the medicine such as an EpiPen is given to the child for its intended purpose.
Common Allergies That Children Experience at Daycare Centers in Texas
The most common allergens that cause children to experience severe reactions at Texas daycare centers include:
- Food: Most children with food allergies are allergic to peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, soy, shellfish, tree nuts, and sesame.
- Chemicals such as dyes, cleaning products, laundry detergents, and pesticides can cause allergic reactions in children.
- Medications like penicillin, aspirin, insulin, antibiotics used to treat infections that contain sulfonamides, and barbiturates that are commonly used to relieve anxiety and prevent seizures are most likely to trigger allergies in children, according to University Hospitals.
- Pollens and grasses can cause irritation, especially in the nose, throat, and eyes.
- Synthetic materials including latex, polyester, rayon, nylon, spandex, and rubber can provoke an allergic reaction.
More Resources Regarding Allergic Reactions at Texas Daycare Centers
Our experienced Texas daycare injury lawyers have also created several free articles and videos to educate caregivers and parents about the serious nature of allergic reactions that occur at childcare facilities:
- What You Need to Know About Allergic Reactions in Daycares
- How a Daycare Can Cause an Allergic Reaction or Allergy-Related Injury
- Helping Texas Parents After a Child Experiences an Allergic Reaction at Daycare
- Allergic Reactions at Houston Daycares
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Daycare Injury Lawyers After Your Child Experiences an Allergic Reaction
Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child experiences a severe allergic reaction while in the care of a Texas daycare facility. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward. Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation.