Living With Food Allergies

Questions and Answers about Section 504 Plans for Students with Food Allergy

Attorney Laurel Francoeur answers questions from parents about Section 504 Plans for school accommodations of food allergy disability. This webinar was presented by Kids With Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, on August 26, 2014.

Addressed in this video:

  • The differences between an Individualized Health Care Plan (IHCP) and 504 Plan
  • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and disability definition
  • 504 components
  • Where to begin and how to set up a 504 Plan
  • Questions from parents
  • Is it legal to ask your child's classroom to be peanut-free?
  • How are food allergies handled on the school bus?
  • How are food allergies handled on field trips?
  • What are some sample accommodations?
  • What about PTO/PTA events and assemblies?
  • Where can I find food allergy policies for my district?
  • If there is no school nurse, who can give epinephrine to treat anaphylaxis?
  • What happens if I move to a new school or state?
  • What do you say when your school says they "Don't do 504 plans for food allergies"?
  • What is the best way to make sure kids are safe at school?

Legal Resources

Food Allergy School Health Plans: 504 vs IHCP (Video and Resources)
Recorded webinar from January 14, 2014 featuring guest speaker Laurel Francoeur, Esq, co-founder of Greenlaurel Solutions, LLC. 

Creating Wellness Policies That Are Safer for Students with Food Allergy
Under the proposal for Local School Wellness Policy Implementation under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools must develop wellness policies to address foods in schools. These polices will require schools to address snack foods for sale (like vending machines or fundraisers). The policies must also address foods in school for classroom parties, celebrations and incentives. 

Sample 504 Plans
Sample plans illustrate how the content and format of a 504 plan varies from student to student and from one school to the next, depending upon what the individual student needs and whether the school has existing food allergy policies in place. 

Nutrition and Food Safety for Students with Food Allergies (Video and Resources)
School nutrition experts discuss school meal regulations for students with food allergies; current thinking about food allergies in schools; the importance of establishing relationships with school food service directors, and more. 




U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (Leave KFA website)
The US Department of Education divides the country into districts.  Find your state's district and contact your local branch if needed.

State Honor Roll Report (Leave KFA website)
The State Honor Roll report evaluates how well each state protects students with asthma and food allergies.

Mystic Valley Charter School Ruling (OCR) (Leave KFA website)
The decision supports a peanut ban.


Managing Food Allergies in a Classroom


Allergens in Crafts
Printable handout that contains a list of some unexpected places you can encounter common food allergens, along with alternatives and precautions that can be used. 

How to Read a Label for Common Allergens
Refer to KFA's avoidance lists when shopping for your food-allergic child. Remember: a product's ingredient list can change without warning, so read all labels carefully before consumption, even if it has been eaten safely in the past. 

Preparing for School with Food Allergies and Asthma (July 2014)
David Stukus, MD, Director of the Specialty Asthma Clinic, Nationwide Children's Hospital, and Michael Pistiner, MD, MMSc, of, answer common questions about preparing to send your child to school and how your allergist can help with back to school planning.

Food Allergy in School Part 1: Overview (July 2012)
Dr. Michael Pistiner provides practical tips for managing food allergies in school settings.

Food Allergy in School Part 2: Ask the Experts (August 2012)
A panel of six experts (allergists and school nurses) from around the U.S. answered questions submitted by attendees. Topics covered included school staff training, where epinephrine should be located, cafeteria concerns, partnering with your school and more.

Handwashing/Cleaning Study (PDF) (Leave KFA website)
This is the referenced study regarding hand sanitizers, soap, and cleaning products and their efficiency at removing peanut allergen.