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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:40 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
I need to test this out with you all because I may just be too sensitve given the communication with my son's school. My son won't be able to attend the all-school swim meet unless I go because, although it is a school event, it is parent-supervised and not school staff-supervised.

The meet is on a Monday, during school hours. I can probably take the day off but it won't be easy and it will be without pay. Of course it would be fun to cheer him on, but when my principal answered with, "That's the downside of being a working mom: I remember being conflicted between child and work needs" I just felt like saying BUT THIS IS A SCHOOL EVENT. Would any other kid with a 'special need' be excluded if the parent couldn't attend?

Now I am not sure if he could go if I found a friend's mom (who is completely aware of the allergy) to go in my place, or if it is a legal thing, should something happen at the meet. I just know something about this feels wrong -- this is a school event. And then I fear that his allergy is going to affect ALL school team events if there are parent coaches but no staff.

Again, I just may be too senstive about all this, for it is my job to take care of my son. Thoughts? Any moms with older kids -- how are they in school sports?

Caroline
[Edit to add: I see below there are a couple of posts on sports events -- seems like the consensus is to attend? Guess I better get that day off, because there will be no school policy precautions in use without a teacher present -- it is more like a public event without staff there, isn't it.]

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son anaphylactic to peanuts


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 16, 2006 6:50 pm
Posts: 205
Location: Ontario, Canada
I'm not sure if I understand. It is a school event, during school hours but no school staff will be there. Where will the staff be?

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daughter: 6 years tree nuts, peanuts


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 11:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I was also wondering the same thing as Gem.

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DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:09 am 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
As this is during the school day, the teacher-coach is teaching her regular class. Participation in the final meet is completely organized by the parents, and it would not happen otherwise.I find it kind of strange, too, that a staff rep doesn't have to be there at all even under these circumstances.

And. . . I thought I should confirm with my son that he really wanted to participate. Guess what? He changed his mind and said, "Nah -- I think I should be a stronger swimmer before I go into a meet." I laughed, thinking how I almost (this close) addressed this issue more assertively! (I also really really really hope he isn't saying he doesn't want to go because of the whole allergy thing.)

Caroline


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 10:49 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Personally, I wouldn't allow my child to go to something like that unless I knew one of the parents attending -- and trusted them to watch my child personally. And that's without allergies.

I hate having other parents I do not know caring for my child on field trips -- even when the teacher is on the trip. (Doesn't happen any more due to the epi-pen.)

*************

Anyway, since this swim meet is optional, I don't think the school is obligated to *meet the needs* by making sure there is someone there to watch out for a child with allergies. Of course, if that child was their *star swimmer* they would probably do it. ;) As for your question about children with other special needs -- if the person had a personal aide the aide would probably go, but otherwise, no, I doubt they would be meeting that child's needs for this particular event either. (Again, unless that child was their star swimmer.)

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:08 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6474
Location: Ottawa
Um...I agree with the previous poster about needing to know the parents. I expect the school staff to have had criminal checks. Who knows who is supervising my child and how do I know they're not a pervert? (Sorry, I'm just very cynical)

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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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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
It is all mute now that my boy doesn't want to go. . . but of course what I mean by 'another adult' is someone who knows my son, knows his allergy and knows how to use the EpiPen. My son does go on playdates with a small number of his classmates we have known for his four years of elementary school, and all the mothers of these children know about how to deal with his allergy. As there are a couple of his close friends on the swim team, I was refering to one of those mothers attending. I completely agree that a busy, crazy sporting competition would NOT be the time to introduce the complexities of a food allergy to a new person!

Just wanted to clear that up.... :wink:

Caroline


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
On the issue of requiring parents to attend events away from the school, in my school board we do sometimes require parents to be with their child. It is often in the case of a child with severe behaviour problems. If the parent cannot attend then the child does not go for safety issues. I am not surprised that schools would make the same request of parents of anaphylactic children. Unforeseen events can happen and situations develop that a teacher or principal would not be able to anticipate while on an excursion.

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13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:58 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:42 am
Posts: 222
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
You know, my son's participation in school team sports is a whole issue that I never thought of before. It's like they say -- it doesn't get easier as they get older -- it is just different. It looks like my husband and I will be core volunteers if he wants to play on these teams (which is true for his hockey and baseball teams outside of school).

I feel that I have sounded 'selfish' and self-centred in these posts -- I hope you know that is not why I am concerned. It is just so hard to balance all the demands of an allergy with a job, my other child's interests, and general family and community commitments. Really, I don't think it is anyone else's job to care for my son. I just hate the thought that this health condition -- which can be managed with education -- might prevent him from experiences if I am not available. I have allowed my daughter to have fun without me hovering and it has done wonders for her personal growth. I want to protect but I don't want to limit his growth all because he has a food allergy. KWIM?

Caroline


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2005 11:39 pm
Posts: 1141
Location: saskatchewan, canada
I think I get where you're coming from. I can see that if school is promoting an activity during class...and then says he can't attend unless his mom can get the day off really puts you in a tough position. It becomes your problem (even though the school brought it up) and puts you in a position where you have to choose between disappointing your child and taking time off work (if you're even able). It makes you the bad guy if you can't go. Your relationship with your son is important and anything the school does (even unknowingly) that strains your relationship is upsetting.

_________________
DD age 9 1/2 -peanuts, nuts,
DD age 7 1/2 - milk, eggs, chicken, peanuts, treenuts, cats, dogs,
DS age 2 1/2
Husband- asthma, eggs, treenuts, fish, shellfish environmental
Self - penicillan, eurithromiacin, mild laytex allergy.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
Caroline, you haven't sounded selfish or self-centred at all. You sounded like a concerned parent.

It is important to note that you should be able to desigante someone else for field trips. I clarified that with my son's school principal. On all field trips, my son is to be with either a teacher or parent or parent designate. It must be someone I disgnate, and they must be willing and able to administer epi-pen. It can be a relative or a friend.

I would recommend you get this clarified at the school now. That way, the next event you don't have to worry that things won't get worked out in time.

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 6:21 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6474
Location: Ottawa
I agree with AnnaMarie. I have never thought that you sounded like anything other than a concerned parent.

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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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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 1643
Location: Toronto
katec wrote:
It is often in the case of a child with severe behaviour problems. If the parent cannot attend then the child does not go for safety issues.


That is what led to me speaking to the principal to make sure my son is either with his teacher or me (or designate). On a field trip which I felt was risky to my child (out in the woods, and he's allergic to insects) I could not attend because they had limited number of parents allowed. And one child had to have her mom there due to behaviour problems. I couldn't get a straight answer as to whether my child would be in the teacher's group or not. I was a basket case. A few weeks of phone-calls (to the place they were going) and I finally signed the paper allowing my son to attend the trip.

Several months later they went to the zoo. I thought everything was settled with the teacher. I could not attend due to my own health problem. After the trip, I find out that my son was in the group of a parent. As they were separating from the teacher she told the parent "oh ya! He has an epi-pen" and walks away. :shock: He did not know what an epi-pen was. My son told him -- and told him what he was allergic to -- and told him how to use the epi-pen. That father never wants to volunteer again. (who can blame him :roll: )

Now, I have the principal backing me that my child is either with staff or me. And, I talk to teacher's in September -- and again before every field trip. Haven't had a problem since.

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self: allergy to sesame seeds and peanuts
3 sons each with at least one of the following allergies: peniciilin, sulfa-based antibiotic, latex, insect bites/stings


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2007 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:21 am
Posts: 687
Location: Cobourg, ON
Caroline2,
I can completely sympathize with your situation. It dawned on me last year when we started into soccer and gymnastics about what my involvement would have to be in sports and other activities. Other parents dropped off children but I had to stay for the entire session. I love to watch her but I realized that if she was going to do extra activities I would have to be there. With her multiple allergies I cannot expect volunteers to keep her safe. Someone asked me about beavers too and I realized that I would have to be a leader. There are just not enough hours in a day to balance everything!

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13 year old daughter -- lives with life-threatening allergies to milk, tree nuts and peanuts; seasonal allergies (birch, maple, ragweed); pet allergies; asthma; and eczema
10 year old son - no allergies


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2007 12:16 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
It's very true. I have gone through phases where I really resent all the extra time that is required, and then I settle down and just accept. It helps to be able to hear from other parents here to at least know I'm not alone....

K.

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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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