JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "I'm allergic to peanuts, eggs and seafood," tells 7th grader Shamar Rush.
The Oceanway Middle School student has to be very careful about what he eats.
"I would vomit, my throat would close, my face would swell and I would feel like ants were crawling down my throat," explains Shamar.
Food allergies are something the Rush family does not take lightly. For Sean Rush, three of his four children have food allergies.
"Unfortunately you find out the hard way, when they have a reaction," Sean said.
Before the school year starts, he and his wife get a treatment plan from Nemours Children's Clinic and sit down with their sons' teachers and principals.
"Be adamant about saying 'no he cannot have this or that' because sometimes kids bring in stuff for parties and they may get into Reese's Pieces. That is how we found out my son had a peanut allergy," says Sean.
Parents must be their child's advocate and even remind the teachers and the principal if he knows a big event is coming up at the school, Sean added.
"Most of the time when my kids are going to do a field trip, I go up there and remind them to take his medicine or take the Epipen or take the Benadryl," tells Rush.
Shamar has learned the best thing to do is avoid eating anything he is unsure of.
"I pack my own lunch and I don't eat at school," Shamar said.
Good life lessons he is passing on to his own little brother who is starting the second grade and still learning about his allergies.
First For You -- If you are worried your child's food allergy will cause him or her to be left out of activities, you can set up a 504 Plan, which is part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
The plan is something you must establish with the school district and it will help make sure parents, teachers and administrators are all on the same page.
504 Plans for Georgia here: http://bit.ly/133iGhw
For Florida here: http://www.fldoe.org/ese/pdf/504bro.pdf
First Coast News