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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 10:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Thanks for all of the info!
:)
Fold up scissors are handy for opening food packages and nailclippers are just pain handy. Yes, I' have to take them out.


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PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2005 11:07 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Ontario, Canada
All I've ever heard of is the Ana-tote personally. I actually just looked at one today at our pharmacy.

I have a 5 yr old son who is allergic to peanuts. I'm very surprised that a school would allow a child at such a young age to carry his own Epi. I'm not judging at all, I'm just surprised that's all.

In our school all Epi are kept in one central place so if there is a need all teachers know where to go (we have 12 children in the school who have Epi-pens). At first I wasn't keen on that idea so his SK teacher also has one in the classroom since she's with him all the time.

He is not allowed to carry it on himself due to the risk that some other child may take it and hurt themselves or others with it. Our school, so far, has been great with my son's allergy. It helps, I think, to have a principal who has a son with a nut allergy.

I'm just curious, does you son know how to use his own Epi pen? My DH and I were wondering when to teach our son. We're afraid of scaring him since he's only in Kindergarten.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:10 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
My son just turned 7. I started teaching him how to use the epi-pen about a year ago. He was in senior kindergarten. I got an epi-trainer from anaphylaxis canada to train him with.

He has a giant stuffed Elmo that's about as big as a toddler so we started by using Elmo as the patient. At first my son kind of freaked about the entire idea, but we talked about it, and eventually he gave it a try. (His first attempt, he kind of blindly swung and missed Elmo's leg, which is pretty skinny to begin with.) Eventually he calmed a bit, and did it right, but that first day he would not use the trainer either on himself or on me - the whole idea just scared him to much.

A few months later his older brother (22) was playing with the epi-trainer, and just plopping it all over himself. My little guy walked into the room and hollered "no, not like that". Big brother put the cap back on and handed it to him, and asked him to show him how to use it. I was so proud - little guy remembered everything - even hold it in and count to 10. :)

Understand, I don't expect my 7 year old to use it on himself, but I feel it's important for him to understand what it is, and how to use it. The adults he's with all know how to use it - but if they forget something, he might remind them.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
canuckmommy, keeping all of the epipens in a central area doesn't sound safe to me. it's good that you asked for an epipen in your child's classroom. seconds count in allergic reactions---the sooner it is administered the better. --Lisa


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 Post subject: Epi trainers are great
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Ontario, Canada
We bought a practice Epi from our pharmacist and we love it. It's a nice way to show grandparents, aunts, babysitters etc how to use the Epi pen without using a real one. It was about $12 and well worth it imo. :)

Next yr my son is in Grade 1 so I think I'll give his teacher another Epi as well as the one the office requires there. I agree with Lisa that I don't feel totally confident leaving it in a central place. The school's idea is that if there is a reaction, say at recess, the on-duty teacher will know exactly where to go to get the Epi. I can see where they're coming from. You don't want teachers running all over trying to figure out which classroom the child belongs in but at the same time I want one kept really close at all times. I'll fight the principal if he gives me any grief. As a parent of a nut allergic child (the principal I mean) you'd think I wouldn't have to do much fighting on my son's behalf but you'd be surprised!

_________________
SAHM of 3 children. Oldest DS (1999) is anaphylactic to peanuts.


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PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2005 11:48 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
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Location: Canada
canuckmommy wrote:
The school's idea is that if there is a reaction, say at recess, the on-duty teacher will know exactly where to go to get the Epi.


So the school's idea is that in the event of a reaction, the teacher on duty will leave both the child having the reaction (who could stop breathing or go into cardiac arrest) and all the other children on the playground unsupervised as (s)he runs to get the Epi?

Good luck with negotiating a better plan! Let's hope that Sabrina's Law (Bill 3) will help with this situation. If the school won't let your son carry the epi himself, maybe the teachers on duty should always carry one with them on the playground.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Lisa wrote:
canuckmommy wrote:
The school's idea is that if there is a reaction, say at recess, the on-duty teacher will know exactly where to go to get the Epi.


So the school's idea is that in the event of a reaction, the teacher on duty will leave both the child having the reaction (who could stop breathing or go into cardiac arrest) and all the other children on the playground unsupervised as (s)he runs to get the Epi?

Good luck with negotiating a better plan! Let's hope that Sabrina's Law (Bill 3) will help with this situation. If the school won't let your son carry the epi himself, maybe the teachers on duty should always carry one with them on the playground.


I am not sure how to do the quotes. My Gosh, this must be so awful for you all.
Is not not amazing how uncaring or shall I say how " they " can not see the whole picture . I agree look at Sabrina, I just did not want to say anything yesterday, not having young children.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
It seems to me that the school playground monitor (teacher on duty) is there to keep the chidren safe.
I can't imagine there would be very many school age chidren who are on Epi-pen Jr's although I forget the weight that they are switched to adult Epi-pens.
So...
Why can't the monitor carry an Epi-pen?
Why can't the classroom teacher of an Anaphyaxic student carry an Epi-pen?
Additional Epi-pens could be stored in a locked unit with the other first aide suppies. (Remember when there was a school nurse?)
Time is of the essence!!
Call 911, go and check the files/photos to verify the student is alowed the Epi-pen, find the key, unlock the supply cabinet, sign out the Epi-pen, go back to the student, administer the Epi-pen...how long?
They have fire drills, do they have Anaphylaxis drills? Shoudn't they?
I'm getting so scared about sending dd to school! :(
She's so bright, I've never told her what can happen, only that she could get VERY sick and have to go to the hospital.
She's only 3 1/2, kids this age should still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy and feel that the world is basically safe and that Mummy and Daddy can fix any booboo.
I guess that I feel like a failure on some odd emotional plane because I know that I can't fix all of her booboo's and I really don't want to admit that to her just yet.
OK, now I'm ranting....sorry!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 10:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Anna Marie
I love the story about the Epi pen trainer and the Elmo that is a excellent idea.
I was telling my neighbor of it and they thought your older son was really great also.
So do I .
Me I am afraid of the needle, my GP can not belive it and had me use grapefruit.
In New Zealand you did not carry Epi pens and the specialist medical staff gave it to you and well, I think I still have that Idea.
I should say I like this thread (?) I never really have been able to talk about this before and you are helping me in someways also.
Okay...............


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 1:17 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Ontario, Canada
I'm going to talk to the principal about this in the fall again. You all have brought up some important points that I think he should realize! Time is essential so I think the teacher on yard duty should carry an Epi-pen but I honestly can't see the principal agreeing with it.

I've heard of this Sabrina law (I'm in Ontario) but I'm not sure of the details of it. Can anyone fill me in?

Susan, sending your allergic child off to school is a nerve wracking experience (my DS is 5 1/2 yrs old) but if you have an amazing, understanding teacher it makes it a whole lot better. I've gone on most field trips with my son's class which makes me feel better (especially when another teacher brought cookies that may contain nuts -- I was livid!!!). Just have open communication with your child's teacher. Another thing that may help is something I did this year. I wrote a letter to every parent in Ethan's class. It told them that he was the student with a nut allergy, what a nut allergy meant, what would happen to him if he did eat nuts and different nut-free snack ideas (ie Bear Paw cookies etc). I've had so many parents thanking me for the letter that I plan to do it every year. I hope this helps :)

If you want me to post the letter I sent to the parents just let me know.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:50 am
Posts: 205
Location: Canada
Canuckmommy;
This is a link to a Support Group I know of and they are very active.
Karen ( the presidient of the group ) spoke at Allergy Expo and so did Sabrina's mum.
From this site there is a link to Bill 3 or Sabrina's law ( the new name it was given )

http://www.ottawaasg.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2005 2:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
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Location: Ottawa
Canuckmommy, I'd love a copy of the letter. I'll adapt it to our situation.
I think it's a great idea! Thanks :D
We're getting a bit off topic and this should probably be in the school forum but I'm sure Audra will sort us out.
The Canadian School Boards Association had a booklet titled: Anaphylaxis: A Hand Book for School Boards (published 2001). I email-ed them this morning abuot getting a current edition. Here is their reply:
Quote:
Unfortunately, the Canadian School Boards Association no longer sells publications. We do, however, have an electronic copy available on our website, at www.cdnsba.org. Look under Publications.

We're not sure yet how Bill 3 will affect the school boards. I would recommend you contact the Ontario Public School Boards Association to ask them. They can be reached at 1-800-268-5194.


Part of the problem is that we're trying to purchase a home so I'm not 100% sure which school she'll go to but I guess I'll just have to meet with the 2-3 schools in the neighbourhood.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2005 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 8:33 pm
Posts: 96
Location: Ontario, Canada
Below is the letter I sent to all of the parents who had children in my son's SK class this year. I've gotten so many compliments and thanks about this letter that I'm planning on sending one out every year. I didn't write it to scare people, just to help them realize that this is a very serious thing my son lives with and not something trivial. I hope this helps you :)

Dear Parents,
As many of you know from last year, our son Ethan has a very serious allergy to nut and nut products. It has been brought to our attention that some people would like more information on this very common and extremely serious allergy.

What happens when he’s exposed to nuts?
One bite of a food containing peanut or other tree nuts (pecans, walnuts etc) may cause a life-threatening emergency for Ethan. Reactions become more severe each time there is contact with peanuts. When he was 3 ½ years old he had his first reaction to peanuts (hives, swelling of throat, itchy mouth). The most severe reaction is called anaphylaxis; it can cause someone with a peanut allergy to die within minutes after eating a food containing even a trace amount of nuts. Symptoms include hives, itchy mouth, difficulty breathing, loss of consciousness and even death.

It is essential to read food labels.
Labels can change without warning; a food that was safe last week may not be safe this week. Also, be careful with non-Canadian products since labeling requirements for different countries are not always the same (ie. European chocolate usually contains ground nuts in it).

There are many snacks which may seem safe but actually have nut products in them. Anything that contains nuts or “may contain traces of nuts” is unsafe for anyone with an allergy to nuts. This is why reading food labels is so essential!

Some foods to avoid:
- chocolate bars
- granola bars
- macaroons
- potato chips (some are cooked in peanut oil)
- M&M’s (even the Plain variety may contain trace amounts of nuts)
- marzipan

Avoiding peanuts is not enough …
Safe foods become unsafe through contact with peanuts. A chopping board, knife, jam jar or countertop may come in contact with a tiny amount of peanut and trigger a very serious reaction. In fact, Ethan’s first reaction was due to less than ½ teaspoon of peanuts!

Peanut butter is likely one of your child’s favourite foods. You may be wondering what else to pack for school snacks. Here are some snack ideas free of peanut products.

- Cheese Strings
- Dare “Bear Paws” cookies (3 flavours: Banana Bread, home style Oatmeal and baked Apple)
- Hunt’s “Squeez’n’Go Milk pudding tubes (strawberry, banana, chocolate)
- Hunt’s “Squeez’n’Go Applesauce tubes
- Yogurt tubes
- Pretzels
- Smarties
- Christie “Teddy Grahams”
- Kellogg’s Rice Krispie squares (orginal flavour ONLY)
- Christie mini Chips Ahoy cookies
- Christie Barnum Animal Crackers
- Christie Oreo Cookies (large cookies only; snack packs may contain nuts)
- Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers
- Viva Puff cookies
- Breton crackers (mini and original size)

It is due to the severity of this allergy, and Ethan’s young age, that we depend on other parents, teachers and school personnel in our son’s life to ensure that he is kept safe. We would appreciate your help protecting Ethan while he is in the classroom by not sending foods containing any nuts or traces of nuts to school with your child. We realize that in order to keep our son safe it limits the snacks that your children may bring to school. We really appreciate your understanding in this matter.

We want to take this time to thank all of you for keeping our son safe while he is school. Your time and patience is greatly appreciated by our family.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2005 8:58 am 
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Posts: 1054
canukmommy, thanks for sharing your letter -- although my son Ethan isn't yet school age, I know that day is fast approaching and already I'm starting to feel some anxiety about it. Your letter is a really great idea because I think that the resentment other parents feel when food restrictions are imposed at school is due, at least in part, to their ignorance about anaphylaxis and food allergies in general. This letter helps dispel any misconceptions, provides education, and asks for compassion -- what parent couldn't respond in a positive manner? Great idea!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2006 10:49 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
_Susan_ wrote:
They are made to carry the inhaler but what about the areochamber?
We keep a fannypack in dd's backpack. It holds an areochamber both inhalers, Benedry, a medicine spoon, 3 Epipens, her healthcard, hospita cards, Dr.'s cards, a list of medicines she is allergic to, vaccination record, money for phone calls and parking, telephone numbers for dh and I, bandaides and stickers. I can't fit all of that into an Epipen case. It's my lifeline and security blanket.

Susan -- just wondering what you ended up doing for your daughter's inhaler and aerochamber while she's at school? Does she have the epi-belt and fanny pack on her person at school? (Seems like a lot around a tiny waist??) Or did you come up with something different?


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