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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 12:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Here is a letter printed in the Vancouver Sun today:
_______________________________________________________________________
Don't take away all the peanut butter sandwiches
Letter
Published: Friday, May 11, 2007
Re: Parents, kids rally at legislature to back bill protecting food-allergic students, May 8
Bill 210 will, I hope, reduce risks for children with anaphylactic allergies. However, I fear that school boards will develop policies that ban any peanut foods being brought into schools and how they might enforce such a ban.

My daughter is a very fussy eater. If she was not allowed to take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, she would simply refuse to eat some days.

Unless there is clear evidence that any child has died by being exposed to another child's sandwich, this kind of ban should be prohibited. All of the articles I have read on this topic describe anaphylactic reactions when the food is consumed, not merely in the same room. It is incumbent on the parents of a child with allergies to ensure their child and the teachers know they should not consume other children's foods and to have a plan to deal with any allergic reaction. Teachers should educate all students about the risks.
C.M. Chang
Vancouver


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 2:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:13 am
Posts: 28
Location: Medicine Hat, Alberta
You know that just seems to be the way some parents of no-allergic children react. I have been talking to my daughter and her teacher all year about the not sharing food. I went into the classroom and talked to the children about not sharing and my daughters allergy it has not worked. The reason there are grade six students watching over the kindergarten children when they are eating. All of my talking to everyone does not help when you have twelve and thirteen year old kids responsible for five and six year olds. In alot of ways i wish parents who had the attitude that the parent in this letter had would have to deal with an allergic child for at least a week to understand what we go through. Thank you for posting this letter I do hope that the bill goes through in B.C.

_________________
Daughter Ana to Cashews, Pistachios


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:58 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
A lot more people are understanding about allergies nowadays, but among those who get annoyed, the dominant response tends to be to use the language of personal responsibility. People advocating for the allergic tend to use this language in order to deflect criticism (i.e. they assure others that they are educating their children . . .)

Not that "taking responsibility" is a bad thing (although, ummm . . . . arguably, a kid who is 4 or 5 is too young to shoulder it all!), but the fact that it is always the knee jerk response suggests to me that people with allergies who ask for accomodation in any way are sometimes seen as people who are not self-reliant and expect others to take care of them.

I personally got that line when I was living in a university residence years ago, and one of my roommates was eating crackers spread with nuts and cheese in our shared kitchen. Her hands did come in contact with the nuts, and when she didn't wash her hands afterwards and proceeded to open the fridge, cupboards, etc, I said something. She later told me she wasn't sure if she could maintain that level of awareness and that she felt that I was asking her to take "responsibility" for my medical condition. While she later apologized, and we did work things out, that comment really bothered me.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 10:31 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
That letter just reinforces what I've been feeling.

It represents the portion of the non-allergic community who equate the term "food ban" with any type of accommodation for the food allergic child.

"Bill 210 will, I hope, reduce risks for children with anaphylactic allergies." BUT, I don't want to be part of the solution. It's great as long as I don't have to change my world over here.

Very frustrating.


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PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
In response to the letter in the Sun - I have a few parenting tips for the writer. If she doesn't have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich some days she will not eat? Now that is a fussy child, who, if you want my advice, should be taught to eat what her mother provides for her, and if she goes hungry, well ............. I'm sure she'll find something else besides peanut butter qiute palatable after a bought of hunger. How about teaching your child to be sensitive of the needs of others? This spoiled child's whims are not more important than keeping an allergic child safe.
Young school chilldren cannot undertake the degree of personal responsibility that is required to stay safe. We need bill M210.

_________________
Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Here's a letter in response to the letter that C.M. Chang wrote. A member of our PACT group, Linda V., submitted a letter too, but it was not printed. _______________________________________________________________________
Picky peanut-butter eaters don't court death
Letter
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Re: Don't take away all the peanut butter sandwiches, Voice of the People, May 11

The letter by C.M. Chang indicates the pervasive ignorance that surrounds the topic of food allergies, anaphylaxis in particular. My son was born with life-threatening allergies to a multitude of protein-containing foods, with milk, eggs and nuts the most severe. Our family has to be on alert every moment of every day. Every time a food enters my son's mouth, he walks a fine line between necessary nutrition and anaphylactic shock. Chang's daily struggle is with her daughter's finicky eating; mine is keeping my son alive.

Anaphylaxis occurs when the offending allergen enters the body. This can be through inhaling airborne food particulates, but most often it is through ingestion. My son doesn't have to munch on her daughter's sandwich to suffer an attack.

Children's hygiene is appallingly poor. If a child licks her fingers and then touches any surface that my son has contact with, anaphylaxis can occur. Unless Chang can come up with genetically altered children who never spill or spread food about, never introduce their fingers into their nose or mouth, and who scrupulously wash before and after meals, legislation protecting children with allergies is necessary.

I have also had to deal with some kids deciding to test whether my son's allergies are real, and delinquents taunting him with "peanut boy" and worse.

If Chang's daughter chooses not to eat because she doesn't get her chosen sandwich, she will live to greet another day. If my son gets peanut oil on his fingers and touches his mouth, he will not.

T.S. Mennie

Delta


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 7:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
BRAVO!


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2005 10:02 am
Posts: 116
Location: Gatineau
A great reply, Pamela. Nice job!

_________________
ana to peanuts, nuts, eggs, shellfish, bananas
mild asthma and eczema, seasonal allergies


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 10:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:52 am
Posts: 214
Someone posted a great reply here recently where it was pointed out that school lunches only account for five of a child's meals per week. That means, if you serve your child three meals a day and one snack, they will still have 23 other chances during the week to eat peanut products at home. I think that is a great rebuttal for parents like the one here, just pointing out the simple math to them.

_________________
Asthma and eczema
Drug allergy (succinylcholine)
Food (corn, raw apples, green beans, tree nuts, flax)
Misc (pollen, grass, mold, dogs, cats)


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
I thought it was a very well-written letter, and I particularly love this quote: "Unless Chang can come up with genetically altered children who never spill or spread food about..."

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 1:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2005 8:55 pm
Posts: 412
Location: Vancouver, BC
Just to be clear, I did not write the letter, just posted it here.

We are still getting lots of support. We will compile a list of our supporters this weekend so everyone can see what's happening.


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