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 Post subject: schools & statistics
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 1:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
OMG!! I am so angry right now I could just start swearing!!
Dropped by the school today to pick up my wee man's epi-pen from the main office as school finishes on Thursday and I won't have another opportunity until the school opens again late August. THEY CAN'T FIND IT!!! Then I got the "are you sure there is one here?" "Why is there one here if he wears one?" I kept my cool (impressively) as barking at the secretary would not accomplish a darn thing. I calmly explained, that yes, I dropped one with his picture on it, with the consent, given personally to the Principal who had jokingly said at the time, how wonderfully organized I was.

At the time(September), I had put up a poster with his pic in the staff room (which is not there now) and the how to administer poster (again, not there) with the symptoms poster (got that one back), then I proceeded to my wee man's room and retrived the 3 posters in his class. He gave his fellow students SAFE bracelets with a little thank you for supporting him and not bringing nut snacks.

OK, realizing that the school has not contacted me in regards to an Emergency Plan for this wee guy, but I have been pro-active with posters, and information. I am so angry that they couldn't find the epi-pen. Bottom line, in the event of emergency, no one would have been able to help him.

Thank God, I didn't necessarily "trust" the school, he wears an epi-belt. The JK class was too far away from main office for my comfort level... Didn't trust the teacher to notice reaction, leave 20 four yr olds, haul butt to office & back to administer epinephrine in time.

I did very calmly explain to the secretary, that yes, he wears an epi-pen, but in the event of a reaction, they would have had to have the one in the office ready within 20 minutes if he isn't at a hospital - I got the oooh, I'm sorry, don't know what to say, I'll ask around and call you when it turns up!!???

When I calm down later tonight and write a letter - and believe me there will be a letter to the Board...does anyone have stats on how often epi-pens are used at schools? Any other stats I should use? It will be clear that "missing" the ball on this one put one child at risk.

Sorry for my mixed up rant... :evil:

Buzimom_2000
Mother of 4 boys - 3 have no allergies, youngest age 4 allergic to peanuts, eggs, insect bites, environmental, athsma


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
Wow! I don't blame you for being furious! Please let us know if your letter gets acknowledged.

Your post reminded me to call the school and ask how I could get the Epipen back. A student answered the phone (I hate when that happens). I asked to speak to a secretary but there was no one there. So I decided to ask her the question, thinking I was going to get a "I dunno" answer... but guess what? This student was fully informed! She gave me all the info I needed (that the Epipens were being distributed to all the students today and if I didn't receive it by tomorrow to call again). :D

Just to clarify... at my son's school, one Epipen is kept in the office and one is kept in the child's classroom (where they have their snacks and eat lunch). The Epipen in the classroom is in a colourful pouch and hangs on a hook right by the door so it's easy to find. My son also carries one with him. Also, the school is in charge of putting up posters (with the child's photo and allergens) inside the classroom and right outside the door. The school even takes each child's photo with a digital camera. It's not up to the parents to make the posters.

Sorry I don't have any stats but you could suggest that an extra Epipen be kept in the child's classroom. Another suggestion would be to have the school make up the posters. If my son's school can do it, so can yours. They need to get their act together. I can understand how discouraged you must be feeling after all the work you put into raising awareness.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
Buzimom -- that is totally unacceptable! We're talking about your child's medication and not just some random object. Not to mention the cost of an epi-pen....is the school going to reimburse you the hundred or so dollars that it costs to replace the epi? Please let us posted on how they respond.
Quote:
Also, the school is in charge of putting up posters (with the child's photo and allergens) inside the classroom and right outside the door.

Storm -- I understand the obvious benefit to having the allergic child easily identifiable -- but I was just wondering if having the allergic child identified in this way publicly amongst his/her peers could potentially cause them to feel different and "singled out"? Would having these pictures in "teacher only" areas suffice instead? I really don't know...can you share the reasoning behind this (cause I'll be dealing with this soon myself...)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:48 pm
Posts: 614
Location: Ontario, Canada / Cambridge, UK
ethansmom,

The posters are in the classroom and right outside the classroom. The classroom is where the children eat... so that would be the best place for the posters. The posters are also outside the classroom door although I forgot to mention that those do not have the child's photo.... just the list of allergens that are not to be brought into that particular classroom.

I don't know what to tell you about your "singled out" theory. We haven't had any negative experiences from it. My son knows he is different but he doesn't feel singled out. In fact, he is very matter-of-fact about his allergies and is not embarassed about them one bit. On the first day of school, his teacher had a discussion with the class about allergies so the children are all aware. Perhaps my child (I can't speak for the other children in the school) does not feel singled out because this has been part of his life since day one (JK). The teachers and the school are all really good about raising awareness and the non-allergic children seem to "get it" and not make a big issue out of it.

_________________
16-year-old son: peanuts, nuts, raw egg whites, asthmatic
Self: allergic rhinitis, fragrance/chemical sensitivities, oral allergy syndrome


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
I'm all for having a child talk about their allergies and certainly don't think it's something any child should be ashamed of. Through education comes awareness and that's how we create a safe environment for our kids. I think posters stating what allergens are not allowed in the classroom are great -- what I envisioned from your post was a line up of kids' photos in and outside of the classroom with a list of allergens by child. I was just questioning the need to identify children in this manner (as kids can understandably be sensitive about being singled out for any reason). My feeling is that as long as school personelle responsible for the care of any child with any medical condition whether it be LTA, diabetes, epilepsy, etc. is aware of the children and their conditions, I don't see the need for any child to have to be publicly put on display and labelled with their medical condition.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/extra/eng/ppm/81.html
excerpt:
Quote:
The Ministry of Community and Social Services will continue to be responsible for ensuring the provision of health support services in children's residential care and treatment facilities.

The school boards will be responsible for the administration of oral medication where such medication has been prescribed for use during school hours. For physically disabled pupils, the school boards will provide such services as lifting and positioning, assistance with mobility, feeding and toiletting, and general maintenance exercises. Boards will also continue to be responsible for necessary speech remediation, correction and habilitation programs.

School boards should establish or update their policies for the provision of these support services. Such policies should define administrative procedures, personnel roles, and routine safeguards. The local boards of health, local Home Care Program administrators, and local medical societies can provide valuable assistance in the development of such policies. The procedures for the administering of oral medication, in particular, should provide:

That such procedures be applied only to those services, requested by the parent and prescribed by a physician or other health care professional, which must be provided during school hours.

That a request for the service and the authorization to provide such service be made in writing by the parent and the physician, specifying the medication, the dosage, the frequency and method of administration, the dates for which the authorization applies, and the possible side effects, if any.

That the storage and safekeeping requirements for any labelled medication be stated.

That a record of administration be maintained which includes the pupil's name, date, time of provision, dosage given, name of person administering, etc.

That the telephone numbers of the parent and physician be readily accessible in the school.

That the medication be administered in a manner which allows for sensitivity and privacy and which encourages the pupil to take an appropriate level of responsibility for his or her medication.

The assignment of these responsibilities is not intended to replace the provision of services which some school boards have already established and may choose to continue. The implementation of this policy, however, does ensure that, by 1985, no school-aged child should be denied access to education because of special health support needs during school hours.

Implementation of these services is expected to begin September 1, 1984, with full provision of services by September 1, 1985.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
Thanks Susan,
I knew the protocols that the school should have in place...and I knew I was being pro-active myself by placing prominent posters, taking the time to explain to my wee man's teacher, classmates and their parents. I also sent a letter at the beginning of the school year explaining to his classmates the allergies and asking for nut-free products in the class. I reminded them in December with a little "gift" - I bought specially decorated candy canes and put gift tags on them thanking them again for keeping him nut-free. I have sent the kids home yesterday with SAFE bracelets with a note explaining their purpose, and the teacher gave me another opportunity to explain the allergy to the kiddies.

I had done all the micro-managing for them. The administration at the school dropped the ball on this one...I thought I had covered all the bases and assumed that it was being taken care of responsibly by the main office. Apparently not.

Letter ready to be dropped off today and also posted to the school superintendent. Obviously the secretary has received little training about allergies and I am sure the school will call me in the next day to let me know that they found the Epi-pen. My task will be to go over the protocols in September, and again on a monthly basis until I am confident that this particular school can handle an emergency situation.

Wondering if we should ask the staff at the school to have Epi-drills similar to lockdown drills and fire drills? :wink:

Cheers,
Buzimom_2000
mom of 4 boys, 3 with no allergies, youngest age 4 with peanut, egg, athsma, environmental allergies
I have no allergies
hubby has environmental allergies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 7:29 am 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I was wondering that too. It would fall under emergency procedures and should be reviewed.
I would like the EpiPen training prior to the start of school to comply with Bill 3 and then a review mid-term to address any issues that that may have arisen.
I would like Anaphyaxis Canada to broaden their speakers bureau to encompass all of Canada and allow trained speakers to give presentations at schools and for parent councils.
I suggest that you contact your MPP to see how they can assist you in enforcing the legisation. They should consider this a hot topic as we are in the first year of its' coming into being. This would allow them to show how they are assisting the community and get their name in the press.
I will be advising my MPP of the out come of our meeting tonight.
Good luck!!! :)

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:41 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
It's official...the Principal called today - the Epi-pen is considered lost.

They will reimburse me the money ($100) for it, and I hope I was effective at conveying my concern that if my wee man needed it - there would have been nothing they the staff could've done (of course, WE know they could use another Epi Jr in the event of emerg).

Thank god he wears one daily and he's excellent at managing his own eating habits. He apparently has turned down quite a bit of food that was supplied by other parents in JK.

The principal DID like my suggestion that the teachers that have ana kids in their class should have regular epi-drills. My point being that time is crucial, and since they run fire & lock down drills anyways, just add to the safety protocols. I will go over this again in September, I'm sure.

I'm "squeaking" - not like me, but getting there.

Have a good end of school all....
Cheers,
Buzimom_2000


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 4:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 3:27 pm
Posts: 7
I was really interested to read what happened to you, buzimom, since the same thing happened at my daughter's school when I asked her teacher for her Epi on the last day. The teacher replied that she didn't know where it was and I would have to come back the next day. Apparently, the teaching assistant had put it somewhere. And it gets worse--the teaching assistant had been away ill for the past three weeks. So not only did the teacher have no idea where the Epi was, but she hadn't seen it in three weeks and didn't tell me. She also served the other kids freezies and other treats that day without letting me know beforehand so I could send in something special for my daughter--actually, had I known that yet more "treats" were being fed to the kids, I would have sent in Chapmans popsicles for the whole class.

Of course, I called the principal right away, but I found her response completely useless. She said that she was "flabbergasted" and could understand why I was upset, but in her mind the matter is solved because my daughter will have a new teacher next year. What I want to know is how the system at the school could have failed my daughter so terribly. It seems that the principal is unaware of board policy limiting food in the classrooms and about her own responsibility to properly train staff. I'm fed up and considering writing a letter to the school board.

I like your idea of having regular Epi drills--that way we would know that the training is actually taking place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:30 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2005 6:39 pm
Posts: 2948
Location: Toronto
Buzimom, What an experience! At least they're reimbursing you, but if you hadn't checked up on the Epi, I guess no one would have known it was missing.

Sounds like the school could use some organizational help. Have you seen the At Risk Rescue medication station? I think it's quite good, seems to be gaining popularity in some of the B.C. schools. http://www.atriskrescue.com/ Might be worth mentioning.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:09 am
Posts: 1054
gwentheeditor wrote:
Have you seen the At Risk Rescue medication station?

Great idea! That would surely help schools get organized!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:16 am 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
What a terrific and useful tool!! I have asked for brochures - I'm thinking that if school Board won't purchse - then the school council should - after all, we do all that fund-raising....

Cheers,
Buzimom_2000


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 1:05 pm
Posts: 528
Location: Burlington, Ontario
All these schools losing epi-pens! This is so unacceptable! You can't leave them at the bottom of a drawer, somewhere, where stuff gets shoved around.

I think it should become mandatory for schools to have this rescue station. This is a fantastic product and very "official" looking. It's not cheap but buzi-mom is right, schools do fundraising to buy new playground equipment or new scoreboards, an emergency station should be a high priority. I am going to bring it up to the principal's attention. Schools are always so big on sports, don't you think that something like that should come before new football equipment?

_________________
15 year old - asthmatic, allergic to cats, dogs, horses, waiting to be "officially" diagnosed for anaphylaxis
12 year old - asthmatic, allergic to tree pollen and mold, OAS
Husband - Allergic to amoxycillin
Self - Allergic to housework only


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 4:07 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 38
Location: Ontario
Hey, got a call today from the Principal of my school - they found the epi-pen...figures.
I asked her to check the expiry date - this month...naturally. Just a reminder to everyone to check expiry and order your new pens for the upcoming school year. Just did pictures this weekend for our emergency plan poster. I also have the letters ready for the parents of his new classmates.
OK, I will admit it...I am an organizational freak - I bought snowsuits and boots in July!
Cheers,
Buzimom

Mother of 4 boys ages 13, 11, 10, no allergies,
5yr old: PA, egg, shellfish, insect, environmental, athsma
Father: pencillian, ibuprofen, environmental


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